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Blazek latest Cards rookie pitcher to impress

ST. LOUIS -- Michael Blazek became the 10th rookie pitcher to appear in a game for the Cardinals this season, and the right-hander fit right in.

Blazek struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning Saturday on a night when all four Cardinals were rookies, continuing a run of success by the first-year relievers in St. Louis.

"When we're handing them the ball, we don't know anything," said manager Mike Matheny. "We're hoping that it's going to turn out like it has, and it's nice to see a Michael Blazek jump on board, like a lot of these other young guys have been able to do, and just go out there and make good pitches."

Shelby Miller, who, along with Trevor Rosenthal, is one of the longest-tenured rookies on the club, made his 15th start of the season Saturday. Kevin Siegrist, who debuted earlier this month, made his eighth consecutive scoreless appearance, having yet to surrender a big league run. Seth Maness took over for Miller in the sixth with the bases loaded and induced his ninth double play of the season over 23 appearances.

The seven rookie hurlers on the big league roster -- in addition to Tyler Lyons, Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez, who have since returned to the Minors -- have been crucial to the Cardinals' success this season.

"We do realize that they are young and they still have a lot to learn," Matheny said. "We're going to continue to watch them and figure out how we can help them move forward. But they've definitely, for the most part all of them, have done a really nice job of coming in at least right from the top, showing what they can do and that gives us opportunities to use them in different situations."

Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for
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