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Garcia makes long-awaited return from DL

ST. LOUIS -- Jaime Garcia waited one year and one day to reach Sunday, when he returned to the Cardinals rotation after a year of injuries and setbacks. 

Garcia last pitched for St. Louis on May 17, 2013, before he underwent surgery on a torn labrum and rotator cuff. He was expected to compete for a spot in the Opening Day rotation, but inflammation during Spring Training caused a setback. 

The left-handed pitcher returned to St. Louis on Wednesday after throwing five innings for Triple-A Memphis on Monday and was scheduled to start Saturday before a rainout pushed his long-awaited return to the Majors to Sunday's series finale against Atlanta. 

"There have been some bumps in the road -- setbacks here and there -- but that's part of the process, part of the game," Garcia said. "Those are some things you have to deal with and, fortunately, I've been able to take those things and find the positive out of the negative."

To make room for Garcia's return from the 15-day disabled list, the Cardinals optioned right-handed reliever Jorge Rondon to Triple-A Memphis. Rondon didn't make any appearances out of the bullpen after he was promoted on May 13. He was 1-0 with a 2.51 ERA in 11 games at Memphis.

The move shrinks St. Louis' bullpen from eight relievers to seven and Garcia gives the Cardinals a fifth starter. 

Alex Halsted is an associate reporter for Bill Hester is a contributor to
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