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NEW YORK — The hurting St. Louis Cardinals are bringing up their second- and third-ranked prospects for major league debuts.

Nolan Gorman will start at second base in Friday’s series opener at Pittsburgh and Matthew Liberatore will be on the mound for Saturday’s game against the Pirates.

Both are 22, and they will become the Cardinals’ sixth and seventh rookies this season. St. Louis is 20-18.

Gorman, selected with the 19th overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft and the No. 18 overall prospect as ranked by ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, is hitting .308 with 15 homers and 23 RBIs at Triple-A Memphis. He has struck out 50 times in 133 at-bats.

“He’s going to get here and he’s going to show what he’s able to do,” manager Oliver Marmol said after Thursday’s 7-6, 10-inning loss at the New York Mets. “He’s been working hard at minimizing strikeouts, so it’s something he’s aware of, we’re aware of, and he’s going at it pretty good. But he’s still making a lot of contact and driving the baseball. We have a need, so he’s coming to fill it.”

Liberatore, the 17th overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft and McDaniel’s No. 93 prospect, was acquired from Tampa in January 2020. He is 3-3 with a 3.83 ERA in seven starts at Memphis with 46 strikeouts and 12 walks in 40 innings. Liberatore is third in Triple-A in strikeouts and innings, and he had a 16⅔ inning-scoreless streak in April.

“Giving him the chance to come up here and show what he’s capable of doing on Saturday is also something we’re really looing forward to,” Marmol said.

Both prospects were at last year’s All-Star Futures Game. Liberatore started and retired Bobby Witt Jr. on a flyout and Jarred Kelenic on a groundout before striking out Julio Rodríguez in a perfect inning. Gorman played third and went 1-for-2 with an RBI double off Boston prospect Brayan Bello.

Tommy Edman will move to shortstop from second, where he has made 36 of 39 starts this season.

St. Louis kept its clubhouse closed for 26 minutes after Thursday’s game for internal discussions about roster moves. The Cardinals selected the contract of Gorman, put outfielder Tyler O’Neill (right shoulder impingement) on the 10-day injured list and transferred right-hander Jack Flaherty (right shoulder) to the 60-day IL.

Catcher Andrew Knizner left in the middle of the fifth inning after taking a pair of foul tips off his mask earlier in the game.

Infielder Edmundo Sosa didn’t play after straining his left ankle while sliding into second when he was caught stealing in the fifth inning Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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