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Sierra hits in 9th game in row to start career

MLB.com - Monday 17th July, 2017

PITTSBURGH -- Magneuris Sierra didn't even arrive in Pittsburgh until 9 p.m. ET on Saturday. Sixteen hours later, he was starting in right field for the Cardinals in their series finale against the Pirates on Sunday at PNC Park.

"They didn't exactly tell me I was going to be in the lineup. They told me I was going to play," Sierra, the Cards' No. 8 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, said through an interpreter. "I came back with the mentality that I was going to play. So I didn't know when, but I was going to be prepared for it."

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The Cardinals recalled Sierra on Saturday from Double-A Springfield after placing Stephen Piscotty (right groin strain) on the 10-day disabled list, but the rookie spent the day traveling. He was in Arkansas when he received the news, and he flew to Dallas and then to Pittsburgh.

Sierra didn't waste any time Sunday though, singling in his first at-bat to extend his career-starting hitting streak to nine games, a Cardinals record.

Magneuris Sierra sets the STLCards record by hitting in his 9th consecutive game to begin his @MLB career! pic.twitter.com/zwng47pWbw

- St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) July 16, 2017

This marks the third time that Sierra has been called up to the Majors this season.

"He's done everything that we've asked him," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Offensively, I thought he took some great at-bats. He's one of those young players where we gave him an opportunity, and he showed us what he can do."

Sierra is hoping to do more in his third stint with the Cards. He possesses great speed, and he wants to use it to steal more bases.

"Stealing bases is an art," Matheny said. "You kind of have to develop your own philosophy, but we gave him some things to look at and brought up some of the better basestealers in the league and what they are doing mechanically. It's timing just like hitting, just like pitching, just like fielding. We gave him a couple of things to think about to maximize the speed he has."

Despite the value that Sierra brings to the Cardinals, he's still a short-term option. General manager Mike Girsch said Saturday he expects Randal Grichuk (lower back strain) to be available on Thursday, and he called Sierra's third stint a "several-day" opportunity.

But Sierra has made the most out of his past opportunities, and he's confident he can do it again.

"You can come in with a lot more confidence because you know how things work," Sierra said. "I know the guys, I know the team, so I am a lot more comfortable."

Jonathan Toye is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh who covered the Cardinals on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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