Friday, January 19, 2018
Sports

Molina doesn't hold back in return

JUPITER — There was no hesitation from Yadier Molina. The Cardinals catcher stepped up and made the play.

Molina executed the maneuver that got him injured, a sweeping tag at the plate, saving a run in his spring training debut.

"I was ready, I wasn't thinking about anything," Molina said after playing three innings against the Marlins on Wednesday. "I just tried to get the guy and everything went right."

Molina wore a splint to protect his surgically repaired thumb and played three innings but did not bat after being listed ninth in the lineup. He was on deck when Jedd Gyorko was caught stealing to end the second but said he'd have gone to the plate with orders to just keep taking.

Wednesday "was a good test and yeah, I feel good," Molina said. "But we have to wait for (today) and see how I wake up and keep progressing."

The seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner is coming off two thumb operations.

Molina injured his left thumb making a sweeping tag on the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo on Sept. 20. He had operations in October and mid December.

"Yadi did that play perfectly, and the slide wasn't a dirty slide," Matheny said. "He just got himself in a compromising position."

Tagging out Justin Bour attempting to score on a hit in the second was a similar situation. Molina made a quick tag and avoided contact with the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Bour.

GIANTS: Right-hander Matt Cain, who had a cyst removed from his upper right arm two weeks ago, resumed throwing from flat ground.

MARINERS: Left-hander Danny Hultzen, a former top prospect, has been sidelined with shoulder soreness. Hultzen, 26, has pitched a total of eight innings since 2014 because of injuries.

PIRATES: Outfielder Austin Meadows, one of the team's top prospects, suffered a right eye injury while playing catch Tuesday during a workout. Initial tests showed an orbital fracture, but he's scheduled for further testing next week in Pittsburgh.

RANGERS: First baseman Prince Fielder was sent back to Texas to take part in a sleep study after having trouble getting rest during spring training. The study is expected to last 48 hours, and Fielder is expected back in camp by the weekend.

REDS: Right-hander Michael Lorenzen was scratched from his scheduled start with mild elbow soreness.

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