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Carpenter falls short in bid to earn NL Final Vote

Mikolas to start Sunday, miss All-Star Game; Pham returns to lineup
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- One of five players vying for the final spot on the National League All-Star roster, Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter fell short of securing his fourth career All-Star berth in the Camping World Final Vote.

Jesus Aguilar of the Brewers was announced as the NL's Final Vote winner with 20.2 million votes. Carpenter finished fifth in the voting, also behind San Francisco's Brandon Belt, Los Angeles' Max Muncy and Washington's Trea Turner. Unless Carpenter is added to the roster later as an injury replacement, he'll be spending the break next week with his family, instead of in Washington, D.C.

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CHICAGO -- One of five players vying for the final spot on the National League All-Star roster, Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter fell short of securing his fourth career All-Star berth in the Camping World Final Vote.

Jesus Aguilar of the Brewers was announced as the NL's Final Vote winner with 20.2 million votes. Carpenter finished fifth in the voting, also behind San Francisco's Brandon Belt, Los Angeles' Max Muncy and Washington's Trea Turner. Unless Carpenter is added to the roster later as an injury replacement, he'll be spending the break next week with his family, instead of in Washington, D.C.

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Carpenter, who was an All-Star in 2013, '14 and '16, refrained from campaigning for himself since learning he had been placed on the Final Vote ballot. The Cardinals tried to generate support for Carpenter's case by teaming with Red Sox candidate Andrew Benintendi. Benintendi finished second in the American League Final Vote.

Mikolas to miss All-Star Game
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny announced his starters for this weekend's series with the Reds as Carlos Martinez, Jack Flaherty and Miles Mikolas, and the Cardinals requested for Mikolas to be removed from the active National League roster for the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard (Tuesday on FOX at 6:30 p.m. CT).

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Mikolas was the Cardinals' lone All-Star selection before Yadier Molina made the team as an injury replacement for Giants catcher Buster Posey. Mikolas threw six innings of two-run ball in Tuesday's win over the White Sox, and he is 10-3 with a 2.65 ERA this season. The Cardinals squeezed in an additional start for Mikolas before the All-Star break by skipping John Gant this turn through the rotation.

Per Major League Baseball rules, Mikolas could have still appeared in the All-Star Game for a one-inning stint, but the Cardinals requested that he be replaced. Dodgers right-hander Ross Stripling was named to the National League team in his place.

"He understands how important it is to give us our best shot on Sunday for our game," Matheny said, adding that Mikolas might not have pitched anyways because he was not one of the five starters voted in on the players' ballot. "Just the honor, I think, more than anything else, and the experience, it'll be a great experience for him, I'm looking forward for him for that."

Video: STL@CWS: Mikolas K's 6 in 2-run outing vs. White Sox

Cardinals ready if Pham's ankle flares
The Cardinals scratched Tommy Pham about 45 minutes before first pitch Tuesday against the White Sox with a left ankle contusion, but Pham felt well enough to test out his ankle and start Wednesday.

Pham fouled a ball off his ankle on Sunday in San Francisco and departed that game in the seventh inning.

Yairo Munoz filled in for Pham on Tuesday and went 1-for-5 with a run scored. Matheny added that Harrison Bader would not be the first option to fill in if Pham were to need another day off Wednesday, because Bader is still dealing with a bruise after being hit by a pitch over the weekend.

"He may be able to go in some certain role in the game, but not as a starter," Matheny said of Bader. "It's just because of that bruise, just setting into a weak spot. Got him right in the belly of it, and you could tell that it's pretty well bruised up still."

Gregerson 'anxious' to return
Though Luke Gregerson rejoined the club in Chicago, the Cardinals chose not to activate him from the disabled list for their two-game series against the White Sox. Gregerson is likely to be back in the Cardinals' bullpen for Friday's series opener vs. Cincinnati.

"I wanted to have him here with us, since he was going be down a couple days, and he's from Chicago, so he's able to spend time with family," Matheny said. "He is anxious. ... He's been throwing a lot lately, too, so get a couple days to catch his breath. He proved what he needed to prove, he's healthy and ready to go."

In five rehab appearances with Triple-A Memphis and Double-A Springfield, Gregerson allowed one unearned run on three hits over five innings. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.

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.

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Carpenter, Miles Mikolas