Cardinals send reliever Sam Tuivailala to Triple-A Memphis, opening spot for LHP Jaime Garcia

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NEW YORK — The St. Louis Cardinals have optioned rookie reliever Sam Tuivailala to Triple-A Memphis, opening a roster spot for left-hander Jaime Garcia.

Activated from the 15-day disabled list, Garcia was set to pitch Thursday against the New York Mets in his first major league start since last June. He had been sidelined since having thoracic outlet surgery in July 2014 to alleviate numbness and tingling in his left arm and hand.

The hard-throwing Tuivailala was called up Sunday and pitched twice during his second stint with the Cardinals this season. He walked both batters he faced and took the loss Monday against the Mets before tossing a scoreless inning the following night.

St. Louis manager Mike Matheny says the right-hander was sent back to Memphis with instructions to work on his cutter.

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