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Molina feels fine, back behind plate

BOSTON -- Rays catcher Jose Molina left Wednesday's game in the ninth inning after taking a foul tip off his face mask.

After the game he told reporters he was fine, despite the precautionary move by Rays manager Joe Maddon.

On Friday night he was back in the starting lineup against the Red Sox.

"I'm good," said Molina, who explained what led to his being lifted from Wednesday night's game. "I just wanted to make sure I was clear to see the ball and catch the ball and concentrate on what I was going to do. It was the eighth inning and I don't want to mess up anything at that point. So I took my time, took a little extra second and that's what happens."

Molina noted that he appreciated Maddon's concern that he might have suffered a concussion. With Ryan Hanigan (right hamstring tightness) going on the disabled list on Wednesday, Ali Solis is the Rays' only other catcher.

Now Molina appears ready to catch more than normal, which is fine with the veteran backstop.

"I'm always ready to play, no matter if Hanny's hurt or who's here, I'm always ready to play," Molina said. "If it comes up that Joe wants me to be used more times than usual, I'll be ready for that."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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