Yadier Molina back in Cardinals’ lineup Thursday

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The Cardinals were given a scare on Tuesday when catcher Yadier Molina was forced to make an early exit after a nasty collision at home plate with the Pirates’ Josh Harrison. But all is back to normal.

According to Jen Langosch of MLB.com, Molina is back in the St. Louis starting lineup on Thursday night against the Nationals. He suffered neck, back and shoulder strains in Tuesday’s collision but will play through whatever discomfort remains as the Cardinals kick off a crucial four-game series in the nation’s capital.

Molina, 30, is batting .325/.375/.511 with 17 home runs and 62 RBI in 111 games this season.

The Rebirds enter play Thursday with a 71-59 record, ranking second in the National League Central.

Padres release Phil Hughes

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The Padres have released right-hander Phil Hughes. He was recently designated for assignment.

Hughes was traded from the Twins to the Padres at the end of May in a deal that was, essentially, the Padres acquiring a Competitive Balance pick and agreeing to pick up half of Hughes outstanding salary, which is $13.2 million in 2019. The Padres used him for 16 relief appearances but he was terrible, posting a 6.10 ERA.

The 32-year-old is a 12-year veteran. Given that he’ll basically be free to anyone who wants him, it’s not unreasonable to think he’ll get a non-roster invite to someone’s spring training next year, but it could very well be the end for him as well.