Adams, who had been sidelined by a left calf strain, homered on his first swing of Friday night's 1-0 win over the Nationals.
The 21-year-old Taveras was sent back to the minors to get regular playing time. Rookie Randal Grichuk stayed on the roster because he's logged more minor league time.
"He learned a lot," manager Mike Matheny said of Taveras. "He's got more to learn."
Adams was 3 for 15 with two RBIs in a four-game rehab stint with Memphis. He entered Friday night's game against the Nationals batting .325, fifth in the National League, and was tied for the team lead with 16 doubles.
In his last three starts before going on the DL, Adams was 7 for 14.
Taveras, the Cardinals' top prospect, homered in his major league debut on May 31. He appeared in 11 games, all but one of them starts, and batted .189 with two RBIs.
"I think he learned a lot," general manager John Mozeliak said, "and it wouldn't surprise me if at some point he's back."
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.