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Cardinals recall Kolten Wong after demotion

The St. Louis Cardinals recalled Kolten Wong from Memphis on Friday and optioned rookie outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker to the Triple-A team.

Wong, 25, was not in the lineup Friday for the start of a weekend interleague series against the Texas Rangers, with Matt Carpenter at second base and Randal Grichuk in center.

Wong was batting .222 in 49 games with 35 starts when he was demoted earlier this month to open a spot for infielder Jhonny Peralta, who came off the 15-day disabled list. The demotion came just months after he signed a five-year, $25 million contract extension.

"People take it like it's a bad thing," Wong said. "I love playing this game. I don't care if I'm getting paid or not.

"Going up to being demoted, I was feeling like things were starting to click. Everything fell into place exactly the way I knew it was going to."

A second baseman, Wong started four games in center field during the stint with Memphis, where he batted .429 with four homers, including a game-winning grand slam, and 11 RBIs in seven games. When he rejoins the Cardinals, he might split time as a center fielder with Grichuk, who is batting .209.

Hazelbaker was batting .250 with seven homers, including three as a pinch hitter, and 19 RBIs in 61 games, and he also led the team with four steals. He had five homers with a .317 average in the first month, but since then was batting .172.

ESPN Staff Writer Mark Saxon and The Associated Press contributed to this report.