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St. Louis Cardinals place ace Jack Flaherty (oblique) on IL

May 19, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty (22) pitches during the second inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals were dealt a blow when they were forced to place ace right-hander Jack Flaherty on the 10-day injured list because of a left oblique strain that manager Mike Shildt termed a “real strain/tear” and an injury that is “not a minimal situation.”

Flaherty, the major-league leader in wins, departed his Monday road start against the Los Angeles Dodgers after just five innings after feeling tightness on his left side. Shildt originally told reporters the team would examine him further as a precaution.

Despite leaving the game against his hometown team — he grew up in Burbank, Calif. — Flaherty still registered nine strikeouts, tied for his season high, while giving up two runs on just two hits.

Flaherty, 25, is 8-1 with a 2.90 ERA in 11 starts this season, including 67 strikeouts in 62 innings. The Cardinals made Flaherty the No. 34 overall pick in the 2014 draft.

St. Louis recalled right-hander Johan Oviedo from Triple-A Memphis to take Flaherty’s spot. The 23-year-old Oviedo has appeared in five games (four starts) with the Cardinals this season, going 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA. His last start was on Friday, when he lasted 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision against the Arizona Diamondbacks (two earned runs allowed, five hits, six walks).

Oviedo has walked 11 batters in his previous two starts combined and 15 in 20 innings this season.

–Field Level Media