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Cardinals face off with Pirates

Cardinals left fielder Marcell Ozuna hits a double during the May 10 game against the Pirates at Busch Stadium. (Post-Dispatch photo by Colter Peterson)

Left fielder Marcell Ozuna, who finished his injury rehabilitation option at Memphis on a high note Thursday night with three hits, including a home run, and five runs batted in, will join the Cardinals for the start of their two-game series in Oakland and is likely to be activated Saturday night. That was the word Friday from president of baseball operations John Mozeliak.

Ozuna, who suffered several finger fractures on his right hand on June 28 when he dived back into first base on a pickoff attempt in San Diego, was four for nine with six RBIs in three games at Memphis. The left fielder, despite missing 28 games, still leads the Cardinals in runs batted in at 62 and is second in home runs at 20 to Paul Goldschmidt’s 25.

The Cardinals were 18-10 without Ozuna but will welcome him back to the middle of the lineup, which has been inconsistent lately other than Goldschmidt.

Mozeliak also said he hoped that third baseman Matt Carpenter (right foot contusion) would join the team in Los Angeles on Monday. After going hitless in his first 22 at-bats at Class AA Springfield and at Class AAA Memphis, Carpenter had two hits in succession and drove in three runs on Thursday night.

For the moment, Carpenter remains at Memphis, where catcher Yadier Molina (right thumb tendon strain) will begin a rehab on Friday and Carpenter’s status will be reviewed this weekend, Mozeliak said.

AROZARENA HONORED

Memphis outfielder Randy Arozarena and Johnson City righthander Michael YaSenka, a 2019 draftee, have been named the organization’s player of the month and pitcher of the month for July.

Arozaena, who got a late start to his season because of a broken right hand suffered when he was hit by a pitch this spring, batted .360 (34 for 94) with 13 extra-base hits and a 1.018 OPS for July.

Since joining Memphis in mid-June from Springfield, the 24-year-old Arozarena is batting .379 with six homers and a 1.030 OPS. The 5-11, 175-pound Cuban was signed by the Cardinals as a non-drafted free-agent in August 2016.

YaSenka, 21, a 17th-round choice this year out of Eastern Illinois University, was 1-2 with a 0.64 ERA in five starts during July, striking out 32 and walking just five in 28 innings.

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Rick Hummel is a Cardinals beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.