The Astros designated Armando Galarraga for assignment on Wednesday, bringing up reliever Hector Ambriz from Triple-A Oklahoma City. The Astros signed Ambriz as a Minor League free agent on June 21. He had a 3.33 ERA in 18 games at Oklahoma City. DeFrancesco wants to use Ambriz in a seventh- or eighth-inning role. "He's a good addition to our bullpen," DeFrancesco said. "He's a power arm, 92 to 95 [mph], with a nice breaking ball." Galarraga had a 6.75 ERA in five starts. He was set to pitch on Saturday in New York. DeFrancesco said the team will decide on a starter in the next couple of days. Outfielder Justin Maxwell was scratched from Wednesday's lineup with a bruised right index finger. He pinch-ran in the eighth inning and is listed as day to day. Cardinals: Matheny giving regulars days off
Manager Mike Matheny decided to leave third baseman David Freese off his lineup card on Wednesday, a day after giving outfielder Carlos Beltran a day off. After Thursday's game against the Astros, the Cardinals embark on a 10-game road trip through Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Washington -- all playoff contenders. "I think I sense fatigue in everybody in all aspects of their game right now," Matheny said. "That's just part of it. We're just trying to watch everyone carefully, see who needs [a day off] here or there. We have a tough road trip ahead of us." Freese has started 18 of the Cardinals' 19 games in August. He is batting just .174 in the month after hitting .458 in July. "He's been tired," Matheny said. "This was a good day to get him down and hopefully get recharged a bit."