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Cruz starts at catcher as Molina gets night off

Cruz starts at catcher as Molina gets night off play video for Cruz starts at catcher as Molina gets night off

PHILADELPHIA -- Tony Cruz gave Yadier Molina his first night off of the season Friday, the backup catcher batting seventh in the Cardinals lineup.

"Today is a day for Yadi and a day for Tony," said manager Mike Matheny. "We have been mapping this out for a while.

"There never is a good day to get [Molina] a rest even though we have a lot of confidence in Tony. We do need to get him in there."

A start is a start, whether against Roy Halladay, or catching Jaime Garcia, whom Matheny called as hard a pitcher to catch as there is in his staff because of the movement of his pitches.

"It was good we got Tony a few starts with Jaime over Spring Training," said Matheny. "Tony has a pretty good understanding of his philosophy and his stuff. It should be a pretty easy transition for him."

Jay Greenberg is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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