STL@HOU: Rosenthal hurls a shutout frame in relief

MILWAUKEE -- In a clubhouse for the first time as a Major League Baseball player, Trevor Rosenthal had a difficult time hiding his smile on Monday at Miller Park.

Called up from Double-A Springfield to bolster the Cardinals' bullpen, Rosenthal said he's been smiling since he received the news from Springfield manager Mike Shildt and pitching coach Bryan Eversgerd. He also said that was a discussion he'll never forget.

"It turned out to be one of the best conversations I've had with a coaching staff in my career so far," Rosenthal said. "It was really special and there were a lot of emotions in there. I'm definitely happy to be here right now."

To make room for Rosenthal on the 25- and 40-man rosters, St. Louis optioned reliever Maikel Cleto to Triple-A Memphis and transferred left-hander Jamie Garcia to the 60-day disabled list.

The 22-year-old right-hander had spent all of this season in the Springfield rotation, going 8-6 with a 2.78 ERA in 17 starts. His last outing came on Thursday, when he allowed four hits in six shutout innings.

Spending most of his time in the Minor Leagues as a starter, Rosenthal said he doesn't expect there to be too much of an adjustment period moving to the bullpen.

"It will be a little bit different," he said. "But I did a little of that in Spring Training, and in past years I've come out of the bullpen through the system. It's just pitching and getting outs."

Spring Training is when Rosenthal impressed many people in the organization, including manager Mike Matheny. Appearing in five games, Rosenthal allowed five hits and one earned run in seven innings. Since then, Matheny said there have been talks about seeing what he can do in the Majors.

"We put him in some positions with some intensity just to kind of see how he would handle it," Matheny said. "He came out and made good pitches. He's continued to take advantage of the opportunities we give him, and that makes an impression."

For Rosenthal, who was available right away Monday night, he said the time spent with the Cardinals during Spring Training also helped him build relationships with most of the players and coaches. And although he never expected to be in the Majors this season -- skipping Triple-A altogether -- Rosenthal said he's ready to go.

"Throughout the season I've just been trying to keep my nose to the grind and work hard," he said. "I didn't really expect anything of this caliber, but I'm definitely happy to be here. I feel really blessed to have the opportunity."

As planned, Beltran, Berkman out of lineup

MILWAUKEE -- As expected, Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman and outfielder Carlos Beltran were out of the lineup for the series opener Monday against the Brewers. Both were planned days off, manager Mike Matheny said, but for different reasons.

Beltran played for the National League in the All-Star Game last Tuesday, walking in his only at-bat. In three games against the Reds after the break, Beltran went 3-for-13, moving him to 7-for-39 (.179) in his last 10 games. Matheny said Monday that his veteran outfielder is "tired."

"That trip to Kansas City, I don't think people realize it's physically and mentally draining, the All-Star Game," Matheny said. "Obviously there's a lot of benefits; it's a great opportunity to represent this team.

"There's also some drawbacks, and that's on the physical side."

For Berkman, it's a matter of easing him back into things after missing almost two months with a right knee injury. He played for the first time since May 19 on Saturday and made his first start on Sunday. Matheny said he wanted to avoid starting Berkman on back-to-back days, comparing coming back from injury to starting Spring Training after the offseason.

"He said he's doing all right," Matheny said. "But he can feel it."

Worth noting

• After getting swept by the Reds, Matheny described the weekend as a "missed opportunity" for his third-place Cardinals.

"That's the way we look at it," he said. "Once you have time to evaluate how things have gone, you realize it's either a step in the right direction or something that's making it more difficult. Losing those three games made it more difficult. We had opportunities to really swing most of the games, and it didn't happen."

• First pitch for the Cardinals' game against the Pirates on Aug. 18, which will be national televised by FOX, has been switched from 6:15 p.m. CT to 3:05 CT.

• Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday entered Monday riding a 14-game hit streak. He batted .389 with 10 RBIs and two homers in those games.