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To open spot for Weaver, Mayers optioned

Cards' lineup chock full of Triple-A Memphis alums
MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- Mike Mayers' stay in St. Louis was a brief one, as the right-handed reliever was optioned to Triple-A on Thursday, one day after being recalled from Memphis.

Mayers joined the Cardinals aware that his second big league stint this season was scripted to be short. His availability out of the bullpen gave St. Louis additional coverage in Wednesday's 10-5 win over Colorado, but the Cards then needed his roster spot Thursday to add right-hander Luke Weaver, who drew the spot start in place of an injured Adam Wainwright. Weaver took the loss, giving up four runs in five innings as the Cards fell to the D-backs, 4-0, at Busch Stadium.

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ST. LOUIS -- Mike Mayers' stay in St. Louis was a brief one, as the right-handed reliever was optioned to Triple-A on Thursday, one day after being recalled from Memphis.

Mayers joined the Cardinals aware that his second big league stint this season was scripted to be short. His availability out of the bullpen gave St. Louis additional coverage in Wednesday's 10-5 win over Colorado, but the Cards then needed his roster spot Thursday to add right-hander Luke Weaver, who drew the spot start in place of an injured Adam Wainwright. Weaver took the loss, giving up four runs in five innings as the Cards fell to the D-backs, 4-0, at Busch Stadium.

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Mayers recently transitioned into a full-time relief role, and he'll continue in that as he returns to Memphis. Since making that move, Mayers has allowed two hits and struck out six over five scoreless innings at Triple-A.

Momentum from Memphis

Thursday's lineup featured more players who started the year in Triple-A than it did players who cracked the Cardinals' Opening Day roster. It offered another example of how imperative the production has been from several players summoned to the Majors midseason.

"We've needed guys to step in," manager Mike Matheny said. "To have guys step in right away and not necessarily have that transition period, that's just very unique, and we're fortunate once again that our system allows us to do that."

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Entering Thursday, center fielder Harrison Bader had four hits in eight at-bats since making his Major League debut, while rookie shortstop Paul DeJong has moved into the three-hole amid an eight-homer July. Ahead of him, outfielder Tommy Pham, who also opened the year in Memphis, has been the club's most consistent offensive player since being called up in May.

Thursday's game also featured batterymates who, just last week, were working together in Memphis. Matheny acknowledged that the familiarity between Weaver and catcher Carson Kelly factored into his decision to give Yadier Molina a breather.

It marked Kelly's second start for the Cardinals since being recalled Friday.

"I think we all know that when you bring a player like Carson in, we're going to need to keep him engaged if he's going to be able to contribute and help our club like he needs to," Matheny said. "This is a good opportunity for him to get in there against a pitcher who we're very comfortable with how they operate."

Worth noting

• Matheny held third baseman Jedd Gyorko out of the starting lineup for the second time in three days after observing that Gyorko looked "beat down a little bit." Gyorko, 2-for-18 since July 20, is on pace to start a career-high 130 games. Last season, he started 100 for the Cards.

Stephen Piscotty (right groin strain) opened a rehab assignment with low Class A Springfield on Thursday. He is expected to remain on that assignment through the weekend.

• With a 13-inning win Wednesday, Memphis won its seventh straight and boasted the best Triple-A record at 68-35. The Redbirds have won or split each of their past 23 series dating back to April 21.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, and Facebook.

St. Louis Cardinals, Mike Mayers