ST. LOUIS -- Catcher Yadier Molina kept it no secret that he took exception to seeing several pitches thrown up and in at him on Thursday, and it led to both the Cubs and Cardinals having their benches warned in the eighth inning of the Redbirds' 5-3 win.
Molina, having already had to get out of the way of two high-and-inside pitches earlier in the afternoon, was brushed back in the eighth inning on another by reliever Neil Ramirez. He turned to the Cubs' dugout and appeared to exchange words with Chicago manager Rick Renteria. As Molina barked, he also demonstratively gestured at his head.
That led home-plate umpire Will Little to warn both dugouts.
"You get one mistake that sails and flies up by your head, you're not happy about it," manager Mike Matheny said. "But when you see a number of them happen that way, you start to take it pretty personal, and I don't blame him. We're not trying to pitch anybody up and in like that, and then you start talking about around the head. Nobody else should, either. Guys need to stand up for themselves and we need to stand up for them."
Matheny said he did not think the inside pitches to Molina were related to any leftover animosity from Monday's game, during which Cardinals reliever Eric Fornataro hit Cubs pitcher Travis Wood after Wood had already hit two batters in the game.
Molina was unavailable for comment after Thursday's game.
"Whether they were trying to go in on him or not, it's just one of those things where you [the Cubs] have to make an adjustment," Matt Carpenter said. "If it happened to anybody, we would have been mad about it, not just Yadi. You try to go in and the ball runs up by someone's face once, you're upset. But three times?"
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.