Gonzales to start Tuesday as Cards stick to rotation

Gonzales to start Tuesday as Cards stick to rotation

LOS ANGELES -- Rather than use Monday's day off to skip the fifth spot in the rotation the next turn through, the Cardinals will have lefty Marco Gonzales make another start Tuesday to open a three-game series in San Francisco.

Manager Mike Matheny made that announcement on Thursday, one day after Gonzales pitched five innings in his Major League debut. Gonzales allowed five runs (all in the fourth inning) on seven hits and two walks. The offense later took him off the hook for the loss. The lefty had the added wrinkle of making his debut just an hour away from his hometown and with hundreds of family and friends in the stands.

"I saw enough from Marco yesterday, you put him in a spot that's not Colorado, that's not filled with all the other stuff, I really liked what he was doing," Matheny said. "I know [pitching coach Derek Lilliquist] is eager to challenge him on the use of some of his pitches and how to open up the plate a little more for him."

This time, Gonzales will enjoy a little more normalcy leading up to the start. He'll get an extra day of rest and will be able to do all his between-start throwing in front of the Major League staff. In advance of his debut, Gonzales spent just one day with the big league club.

With their rotation already patched up, the Cardinals preferred not to revert to a four-man rotation, even if just temporarily.

"We get to this point in the season and any time we can get guys an extra days as we start seeing some of our starters beat up, it's not anything we're going to shy away from giving them that extra day," Matheny said.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.