Yadier returns to lineup; Freese available off bench

Yadier returns to lineup; Freese available off bench

CINCINNATI -- Good news came from the Cardinals clubhouse Sunday morning, as the team learned that the recent injuries to David Freese and Yadier Molina weren't a cause for concern.

Molina returned to the starting lineup Sunday after being held out Saturday with a swollen ankle he rolled the day before. The catcher went hitless in five at-bats in the Cardinals' 8-2 win over the Reds.

"He bounces back, and he just grinds through it," said manager Mike Matheny before the game. "[Saturday] was a good day for him to take off and hopefully get ahead of it."

Molina was 3-for-5 in Friday night's contest and hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth. He entered Sunday leading all Major League catchers with a .328 batting average and said he could have gone Saturday if his number was called.

"I taped it and I was ready to go if they needed me or if something happened," Molina said. "It feels better. I'm ready to go [today]."

Freese left Friday's game entering the ninth inning after taking a quick grounder from Zack Cozart off his left wrist in the bottom of the eighth.

He was out of the Cardinals' lineup Sunday but could be back any day.

"They got all the tests done and they came back negative, which was good news," Matheny said. "But it's still keeping him from letting it go. It'll probably be another day. I think we'll also be able to have him off the bench [Sunday], if necessary. We still want him to do some more swinging and a little more therapy to make sure. I thought he might be able to go [Sunday]."