Yadier Molina wants to play again before the season is over

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Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina had to leave Monday night’s game against the Cubs after taking two foul tips off of his face mask in the seventh inning. He left with the aid of a trainer and vomited before getting to the dugout.

Molina, though, says the nausea has already subsided. MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Molina wants to play again this season, perhaps as early as Thursday.

The Cardinals have six games left and trail the Rockies for the second NL Wild Card slot by 2.5 games. Any combination of four Cardinal losses and Rockie wins will eliminate them, so the odds are long. As a result, the club may not feel super motivated to rush Molina back.

Molina, 35, signed a three-year extension with the Cardinals earlier this year which will pay him $20 million per season through 2020. The Cardinals will also be thinking about that investment when they decide whether or not to allow Molina to return before the regular season is over.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).