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Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Yadier Molina out of Cards' lineup

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has no issue with the way Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison bowled him over during a violent home-plate collision Tuesday night that left the four-time All Star with neck, back and shoulder soreness as well as one big headache.

Molina said Wednesday he thought the play was "clean" and insisted he'll be fine, though the Cardinals held him out of the lineup for the series finale with the Pirates as a precaution.

Tony Cruz started behind the plate, and the team recalled catcher Bryan Anderson from Triple-A Memphis as insurance. Matheny didn't rule out letting Molina return to the lineup on Thursday when the Cardinals begin a four-game series in Washington.

Molina underwent concussion tests after the game Tuesday and again Wednesday and showed no signs of head trauma.

"We're very confident where he stands on those (tests)," Matheny said. "That's great news. It allows us the freedom to keep moving forward without a lot of hesitation about the future."

Harrison was attempting to score from second with two outs in the bottom of the second on a single to right field by Jose Tabata. Harrison lowered his shoulder as Molina received the ball, his arm colliding with Molina's head as he tried to bull his way to the plate. Molina tumbled backward, somehow holding onto the ball. He slowly got to his feet before being removed by trainers.

Matheny, who caught for four teams during a 13-year career, declined to speculate on whether he thought the play was clean. Harrison was drilled in the left leg on a pitch by Jake Westbrook later in the game, leading to a warning to both teams from home plate umpire Adrian Johnson.

"There's always the option to slide," said Matheny, who retired in February 2007 due in part to lingering concussion issues. "He chose not to and in the written rules of the game, that's permissible. We all get that."

Harrison maintains he had nowhere to go with Molina blocking the plate and didn't have a problem when the Cardinals retaliated.

"That's just part of the game," said Harrison, who started again Wednesday in place of injured Neil Walker. "I was glad he wasn't really hurt that bad. That's not what I was trying to do. I was just trying to score a run and help my team."