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Yadi given rare opportunity to recharge

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ST. LOUIS -- Yadier Molina was bound to get a day off during this 10-game homestand, and after watching his catcher struggle at the plate on Tuesday, manager Mike Matheny chose to unplug the veteran from the lineup on Wednesday.

The off day is just the second in 39 games this season for Molina, who has caught all but 11 of the innings the Cardinals have played. That totals a Major League-high 330 1/3 innings behind the plate.

The club's early-season schedule -- which featured regular off-days and not too many day games following night ones -- has allowed Matheny to ride Molina as hard as he has. The Cardinals are now in a stretch of playing 29 games in 30 days. That, along with warming temperatures, will require Matheny to be more conservative with Molina's playing time moving forward.

Molina went 0-for-5 on Tuesday and was the only one of the team's starting position players to not reach base in the 10-4 win. After hitting in 11 straight games through Saturday, Molina has just one hit in 11 at-bats since.

"Yesterday was one of the first days where it just didn't look like everything was on timing-wise, as far as the swing goes," Matheny said. "Physically, he feels good. We're just getting him a day to try and get himself back into a good rhythm."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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