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Lyons tabbed to fill Kelly's spot in rotation

Left-hander to start Monday's series opener against Mets

Lyons tabbed to fill Kelly's spot in rotation play video for Lyons tabbed to fill Kelly's spot in rotation

WASHINGTON -- The Cardinals made official on Sunday the roster move most had been anticipating since starter Joe Kelly went on the disabled list Thursday with a left hamstring strain. It will be lefty Tyler Lyons, manager Mike Matheny confirmed, who will take Kelly's spot in the rotation and start Monday against the Mets.

Lyons will join the team in New York once recalled, and the Cardinals opened up a spot for him on the 25-man roster by optioning Jorge Rondon to Triple-A Memphis following Sunday's loss. That returns the club to a seven-man bullpen.

Matheny said that Lyons' last start -- a seven-inning outing in which he allowed one run on five hits and struck out six -- as well as his experience as a starter in the Majors last season played into the decision to make him the first callup. It also worked out that Monday would have been Lyons' next day to pitch for Memphis.

"He was very good last time out," Matheny said. "We just hope he can carry that momentum forward here [Monday]. He did a great job for us when he got the opportunity [last year]. And we go with that hot hand."

By adding Lyons to the rotation, the Cardinals will have one lefty among the five starters. Lyons made eight starts for St. Louis last year, the first two of which he allowed two runs over 14 innings. He struggled in the outings that followed and finished 2-4 with a 4.75 ERA.

The Cardinals will need at least two spot starts in Kelly's rotation place as he sits out a minimum of 15 days.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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