Jaime Garcia goes four-plus innings in second rehab start

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Jaime Garcia can finally spot the finish line.

The 26-year-old left-hander made his second minor league rehab start on Saturday evening at Double-A Springfield, surrendering just one run on two hits over 4 1/3 impressive innings. He struck out six and did not issue a walk while inducing six groundball outs.

According to Kary Booher of the Springfield News-Leader, Garcia is scheduled to make a third rehab start on Thursday. If that goes smoothly, he could be activated from the disabled list and cleared to rejoin the St. Louis staring rotation five days later.

That will mean pushing Joe Kelly or Lance Lynn into a middle relief gig.

Garcia had an underwhelming 4.48 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 66 1/3 innings this season before hitting the shelf, but his career ERA is 3.45 and his career WHIP is 1.34. He struck out 156 batters in 32 starts last year.

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.