Lefty Gonzales set to make debut start

News-DemocratJune 23, 2014 

— Reliever Eric Fornataro and shortstop Pete Kozma were recalled by the St. Louis Cardinals from Class AAA Memphis on Monday.

Fornataro and Kozma replace pitchers Jaime Garcia and Michael Wacha on the roster. Both players were uniform Monday when the Cardinals opened a three-game series in Colorado.

Garcia (reaggravated left shoulder) and Wacha (stress reaction in right shoulder) are on the disabled list. Garcia's move is retroactive to Saturday, Wacha's to Wednesday.

The Cardinals opted to boost their bench with the addition of Kozma, giving them 14 position players and 11 pitchers. Fornataro will work out of the bullpen.

Left-hander Marco Gonzales, the Cardinals' first-round draft pick last year, is set to have his contract purchased from Double-A Springfield and start the game at 2:10 p.m. Wednesday in Colorado.

Gonzales, who will be making his major-league debut, grew up in nearby Fort Collins. His father, Frank Gonzales, is a minor-league pitching coach for the Rockies.

Gonzales, 22, opened the season at high-Class A Palm Beach of the Florida State League, where he was 2-2 with a 1.43 ERA in six starts and 37 2/3 innings. He walked eight and struck out 32.

Gonzales was promoted to Springfield in mid-May and has gone 3-2 with a 2.33 ERA in seven starts and 38 2/3 innings. He has walked 10, struck out 46 and allowed a .220 average.

It was believed that Tyler Lyons was the front-runner to get the start Wednesday, but the Cardinals instead opted for Gonzales, despite having no big-league experience.

The Cardinals will make room for Gonzales on their roster before the game Wedensday.

Fornataro, 26, is 1-2 with a 3.27 ERA and four saves in his 19 games with Memphis. He has pitched in seven games with the Cardinals this season.

Kozma, 26, began the season with the Cardinals, but appeared in just four games and was optioned to Memphis on April 14.

Kozma is batting .234 in 59 games, with four home runs and 24 RBIs. He is batting .306 (15-for-49) with runners in scoring position.

Fornataro will wear No. 67, Kozma No. 38.

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