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Molina scratched with lower back stiffness

MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was removed from Friday night's starting lineup due to lower back stiffness and was replaced by Eric Fryer.

The announcement was made about an hour before first pitch of the Cardinals' 3-2 victory over the Phillies at Busch Stadium. Molina had been batting fifth, and with the change, everyone below Molina was moved up a spot in the lineup, outside of pitcher Michael Wacha, with Fryer batting eighth. 

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ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was removed from Friday night's starting lineup due to lower back stiffness and was replaced by Eric Fryer.

The announcement was made about an hour before first pitch of the Cardinals' 3-2 victory over the Phillies at Busch Stadium. Molina had been batting fifth, and with the change, everyone below Molina was moved up a spot in the lineup, outside of pitcher Michael Wacha, with Fryer batting eighth. 

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"It was pretty late, but still on time to go through the meetings with [Wacha]," manager Mike Matheny said of Fryer receiving the news. "Yadi actually went down during batting practice and felt something tighten up, so that's when we made the move."

Molina had a day off on Wednesday, despite the catcher rarely taking games off this season. He has started in 51 of 58 games this year and leads the Majors in innings caught (452 2/3). Molina is batting .258, with six home runs and 23 RBIs this season.

"[Molina] seemed to think that if we had an emergency today and something happened to Fryer that he would be able to get back there," Matheny said after the game. "But I know he was pretty sore."

Alaina Getzenberg is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis.

St. Louis Cardinals, Yadier Molina