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Jiminez Sent Down To Minors

Rookie Jose Jimenez Jose Jiminez, whose no-hitter against the Arizona Diamondbacks was a bright spot in an otherwise inconsistent season, was optioned to Triple-A Memphis Tuesday.

The Cardinals recalled Rick Heiserman, 26, a right-hander who was the closer at Memphis.

Jiminez, a right-hander, beat Randy Johnson and the Diamondbacks 1-0 with his no-hitter on June 25 at Phoenix. A little over a week later, Jiminez and the Cardinals again shut out Johnson and the Diamondbacks at home.

But otherwise, Jiminez has struggled. After going 3-0 in a September callup last season, Jiminez is 5-12 with a 5.81 ERA in 1999. In his last start Sunday, Jiminez lasted just two innings against the Chicago Cubs, giving up five earned runs and five hits including two Sammy Sosa homers.

Jiminez said he has some mechanical flaws to work out.

"I'm a little surprised, but I'll find my way back," he said.

Manager Tony La Russa said Jiminez likely will be recalled Sept. 1, when active rosters expand from 25 to 40.

"His results have been mixed," La Russa said. "I think he's learning from his ups and downs."

La Russa wasn't sure who would replace Jiminez in the rotation, but said he was leaning toward Juan Acevedo, 4-4, with a 6.05 ERA.

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