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|Molina Out 3rd Game with Back Injury
|ST. LOUIS (AP) -- St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina missed his third start because of mid-back tightness, but both the player and team anticipates he might be back by the end of the weekend.
Manager Mike Matheny said Friday before the start of a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates that Molina was much improved and was hopeful the four-time All-Star would be ready Saturday. Matheny said the team's medical staff had no longer term concerns and Molina said when he tried to swing Friday results were much better than a day earlier.
Tony Cruz got the third straight start in place of Molina, batting .315 with 16 home runs and 54 RBIs, and the Cardinals again had no designated backup catcher. Cruz was batting .226 in 31 games with one homer and eight RBIs.