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Pujols Gets Day Off; Molina Feeling Better
VIERA, Fla. (AP) -- Albert Pujols is not playing for the St. Louis Cardinals against the Washington Nationals, getting a day off because manager Tony La Russa wants to use his star slugger in each of the next three games.

The three-time NL MVP originally was slated to make the bus trip for Friday's game, but La Russa decided to rest him. La Russa said Pujols' back is fine.

Pujols was scratched from last Monday's game with a sore back, then played Wednesday and Thursday. La Russa plans to play Pujols on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and didn't want him out there six straight days.

La Russa said catcher Yadier Molina ``feels improved,'' 48 hours after hurting a side muscle. La Russia doubts Molina will play in any more exhibition games and isn't sure whether the All-Star will be ready opening day.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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