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Cards' Garcia happy to see calendar flip

MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- There was likely no one in the Cardinals' clubhouse more relieved on Saturday to see the calendar roll over into July than Greg Garcia.

"It was a long month" Garcia said. "I want to play well for this team. I want to play well for my teammates and my coaches. When you're not doing that, you kind of feel like you're letting some people down."

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ST. LOUIS -- There was likely no one in the Cardinals' clubhouse more relieved on Saturday to see the calendar roll over into July than Greg Garcia.

"It was a long month" Garcia said. "I want to play well for this team. I want to play well for my teammates and my coaches. When you're not doing that, you kind of feel like you're letting some people down."

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Garcia opened the month in a 1-for-29 spell, which was dragged out because of how infrequently he was starting. He did generate a bit of momentum near the end, thanks to four starts over the final seven days of June. Garcia went 5-for-16 during that stretch.

"If you're 1-for-30 and an everyday player, that can go away in five days," Garcia said. "And it hurts when you're going through it in five days, but to expand it out for over a month, every day you're sitting down at your locker, especially when your team doesn't win, and you just feel like you failed that day. That was the hardest part for me."

Garcia's batting average dropped from .264 to .216 over the month, and the success he's had as a pinch-hitter during his first three seasons in the Majors hasn't surfaced so much in 2017. He entered the year with a .340/.444/.509 pinch-hitting slash line. This year, he's batted .143/.333/.143 off the bench.

Nevertheless, with Kolten Wong expected to be out until after the All-Star break, Garcia is likely to garner several more starts in Wong's absence.

Siegrist resumes throwing

About a week after receiving a cortisone injection to calm an inflamed nerve near his spine, Kevin Siegrist resumed throwing on flat ground Saturday. He won't return from the 10-day disabled list on Monday, his first day of eligibility, but the Cardinals remain optimistic that Siegrist will be back before the All-Star break.

"Night-and-day difference," Siegrist said of how he feels since the injection. "It's something I've tried to manage since the beginning of the season, and some days it would be good, and some days I didn't know if I could deal with it anymore. I decided to get it taken care of, and now I feel a lot better."

Siegrist, who was diagnosed with a cervical spine sprain, said that he would frequently experience a dead-arm sensation after appearances and then pain around his neck and upper back hours later. The recovery time was inconsistent.

The discomfort dates back to 2014, when Siegrist went on the DL with what was described as a strained left forearm. But it had increased this season.

"I don't know if it's something I did mechanically or just throwing that tweaked it, inflamed it," Siegrist said. "All I know is it feels really good, and I'm ready to get back to throwing."

Worth noting

• Wong (right triceps strain) took swings on Saturday for the first time since receiving a cortisone injection on Tuesday.

• For the second straight day, Zach Duke pitched a scoreless inning in a rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals. Duke, who underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2016, struck out two in Saturday's outing.

• Shortstop Aledmys Diaz, who was optioned to Triple-A on Wednesday, made his first appearance for Memphis on Saturday.

• The Cardinals went over slot to sign their 14th-round Draft pick, Donivan Williams. Williams, a high school shortstop, received a $300,000 signing bonus.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast.

St. Louis Cardinals, Greg Garcia