With left shoulder better, Molina back behind plate

With left shoulder better, Molina back behind plate

WASHINGTON -- Despite clearly having trouble extending his left shoulder on Friday, Yadier Molina reported feeling improved enough on Saturday to be back in the Cardinals' starting lineup.

"We had a good talk," manager Mike Matheny said. "I always give them until the next day to see how he feels. I could tell yesterday that he just wasn't responding. Today he came in much better. He just knows right now, more so than ever, that you have to push. He doesn't want to miss it. I respect that."

The left shoulder soreness is one of the side effects Molina has dealt with since being bowled over by Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison during a collision at home plate on Tuesday. Molina sat out Wednesday with what he described mostly as neck pain.

He said the discomfort moved from his neck to his shoulder on Friday. It showed, too, as Molina was not as agile behind the plate. Cardinals pitchers threw three wild pitches in the game.

"That's not an excuse," Molina said of the soreness. "I'm playing the game. My shoulder felt a little weak. Today it feels better."

The shoulder/neck soreness, Molina said, has not been a bother on the offensive end. He is 1-for-5 since the collision.