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Cardinals recall righty Mayers, option Gant

Special to MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- The Cardinals continued to shuffle pitchers on Friday, recalling right-handed reliever Mike Mayers from Triple-A Memphis and optioning John Gant to the Redbirds.

It was an eventful 24 hours for Gant, a righty starter who followed his callup on Thursday with three perfect innings and a win in the 4-3 victory over the New York Mets in 13 innings.

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PITTSBURGH -- The Cardinals continued to shuffle pitchers on Friday, recalling right-handed reliever Mike Mayers from Triple-A Memphis and optioning John Gant to the Redbirds.

It was an eventful 24 hours for Gant, a righty starter who followed his callup on Thursday with three perfect innings and a win in the 4-3 victory over the New York Mets in 13 innings.

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On Wednesday, righty John Brebbia experienced a variation of the same theme, with three scoreless innings and his first career save, followed by a trip to Memphis.

Mayers, a rookie, pitched three scoreless innings and got his first save in the Cards' April 12 win over Cincinnati.

Before the season, the last time three Cardinals relievers got a three-inning win or save in the first 24 games was 1988, when the trio of Scott Terry, Larry McWilliams and Bob Forsch did so.

The moves are designed to get maximum performance from rested pitchers.

"We talked [about it] again today," Cards manager Mike Matheny said. "Just stay ready. When you're part of our club, when you're in Memphis, we know you're gonna continue to make an impact for us. It's just a matter of when those opportunities arrive. Be ready."

Lefty reliever Ryan Sherriff was scheduled to begin a 30-day rehab assignment (broken toe) on Friday at Memphis. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since April 6.

Flaherty returns

Yet another pitcher joined the Cardinals from Memphis on Friday, although Jack Flaherty won't officially be added to the roster until Saturday, when he starts against the Pirates at PNC Park.

A right-hander, Flaherty will fill the rotation spot held by righty Adam Wainwright, who went on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. But it won't be Flaherty's first start this season. Replacing Wainwright on April 3, he yielded one run in five innings in the Cards' 5-4 loss to Milwaukee. He struck out nine and walked one.

Video: STL@MIL: Flaherty strikes out nine over five innings

After going back down to Memphis, Flaherty has gone 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA.

"It's just been trying to carry everything [over] from spring," Flaherty, the Cardinals' first pick in the 2014 Draft, said. "Keep building off things and try to improve. It kind of started in the spring and came all back."

Last season, he posted a 6.33 ERA in six games (five starts) for the Cardinals.

"He's improving," Matheny said. "He's adding movement to his fastball that's gonna make the slider better. Mixing up the break on his pitches. He's got the ability to make quality pitches on both sides of the plate, and not necessarily one pitch, for a strike.

"Plus, he knows how to compete. He's maturing in his preparation and what he needs to do between his starts. Making the right adjustments for a young player."

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.

St. Louis Cardinals, Jack Flaherty, Mike Mayers