Jaime Garcia to begin rehab assignment Monday

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Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia hasn’t thrown a pitch in a major league game in close to two months because of a left shoulder impingement. But the light at the end of the tunnel is suddenly growing bright.

According to B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest, Garcia is scheduled to make his first rehab start on Monday for the Cardinals’ affiliate in the Gulf Coast League. He’ll likely need three or four minor league outings before gaining clearance for activation.

Garcia, 26, had an underwhelming 4.48 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 11 starts before the shoulder injury. But he wasn’t pitching at 100 percent health and still owns a solid 3.45 career ERA and 1.34 career WHIP.

The Cardinals enter play Sunday with a 54-47 record, ranking third in the National League Central.

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.