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Cardinals hope Wong brings spark to lineup

2nd baseman, reliever Siegrist activated from DL Thursday
MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- Mike Matheny knows the type of impact Kolten Wong can have on the lineup, and the manager hopes Wong continues to help the Cardinals now that he's back in the lineup in time for the second half.

Wong started at second base against the Pirates on Friday at PNC Park after the Cards activated him from the 10-day disabled list on Thursday, and he went 0-for-3 in the Cardinals' 5-2 loss. St. Louis optioned Alex Mejia to Triple-A Memphis in a corresponding move. It was the first time Wong, who had been out with a triceps strain, played in a game since June 14.

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PITTSBURGH -- Mike Matheny knows the type of impact Kolten Wong can have on the lineup, and the manager hopes Wong continues to help the Cardinals now that he's back in the lineup in time for the second half.

Wong started at second base against the Pirates on Friday at PNC Park after the Cards activated him from the 10-day disabled list on Thursday, and he went 0-for-3 in the Cardinals' 5-2 loss. St. Louis optioned Alex Mejia to Triple-A Memphis in a corresponding move. It was the first time Wong, who had been out with a triceps strain, played in a game since June 14.

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"I think we have seen Kolten step in and be a real spark for our roster," Matheny said. "We know all the potential he has and how well he has been putting it together so far this season, so hopefully he will continue."

Wong was hitting .301/.393/.444 and had a six-game hitting streak before he was placed on the DL. He stayed hot during his four-game rehab assignment in Double-A Springfield, going 6-for-15 with a homer and four RBIs.

"I liked it. I had some good at-bats, worked some walks [two], and obviously I got some hits," Wong said. "That's all you're trying to do when you go to those rehab games, is just get your timing back down and make sure you are trying to swing at as much strikes as you can.

"After going through the injuries that I have been going through, I am just excited to be back out here. Hopefully I can keep these injuries off for the remainder of the season."

Wong's return also forced Matheny to realign the right side of the infield. Matt Carpenter had been playing at second base, and rookie Luke Voit had been at first. Voit was slashing .316/.366/.684 in 14 games with eight extra-base hits in 38 at-bats. Matheny said Voit will continue to be an option at first base as the Cardinals try to keep him involved in the offense.

"Just depending on how everyone is playing, we are just going to have to keep everyone engaged," Matheny said.

Siegrist return
The Cards also activated left-hander Kevin Siegrist (cervical spine strain) from the 10-day DL on Thursday, and they optioned right-hander Luke Weaver to Triple-A Memphis as the corresponding move.

Siegrist posted a 4.94 ERA in 31 relief appearances before being placed on the DL in mid-June. He made two appearances during a rehab assignment with Springfield, allowing two earned runs in two innings.

"I had to kind of hit the reset button and get back into good habits," Siegrist said. "That's one thing I looked at over my time off, was my mechanics and stuff like that. There were a few tweaks that I am going to make that I think will make a big difference."

Jonathan Toye is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh who covered the Cardinals on Friday.

St. Louis Cardinals, Kevin Siegrist, Kolten Wong