St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game because of a hamstring problem.
The Cardinals held the second NL wild-card spot going into Monday night’s game at home against Pittsburgh.
The nine-time All-Star felt tightness in his left hamstring while running the bases on Wednesday in Washington.
St. Louis manager Mike Shildt is hoping Molina can return sometime during the current seven-game homestand.
“I wish I had a definitive date,” Shildt said. “I can tell you he’s been making positives strides and everything is encouraging.”
Molina is hitting .273 with 17 homers and 61 RBIs. Carson Kelly replaced Molina in the lineup against the Pirates.
AL Central-leading Indians get Miller back, Donaldson next
The AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians got star reliever Andrew Miller back Monday and plan to put former AL MVP third baseman Josh Donaldson in the starting lineup Tuesday.
Miller has been out since late August with a left shoulder injury, the latest setback in a rough season for the two-time All-Star. Miller has a 3.38 ERA in 24 innings, though he pitched better in August before his shoulder flared up.
The Indians made the move before playing at Tampa Bay.
“He’s raring to go, so that’s exciting,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He doesn’t have a minor league game under his belt, so he might not command (at first). He might, but if he doesn’t, we have 19 games (left in the regular season).”
Donaldson, acquired from Toronto on Aug. 31, batted .234 with five home runs and 16 RBIs this season for the Blue Jays. He hasn’t played in the majors since May 28 because of a left calf strain. He also was out from April 11-May 2 with a shoulder problem.
Donaldson went 3 for 12 with two homers and six RBIs in four games with Triple-A Columbus.
“I feel great,” Donaldson said. “I passed everything that I wanted to accomplish and what they wanted me to accomplish. My expectations are go out there and help this team win, whether it’s defensively, offensively, whatever it may be. I feel like I’m in a good position right now anytime my body is able to do the things that I want it to do.”
Donaldson will start at third base, with Jose Ramirez moving from third to second and Jason Kipnis, the starting second baseman, shifting to center field.
Donaldson was the 2015 AL MVP while with Toronto.
Right-hander Trevor Bauer, out since Aug. 12 with a right fibula stress fracture, is tentatively scheduled to throw off a bullpen mound Wednesday.
“It’s really good news,” Francona said. “He’s having a good week.” Bauer is 12-6 with a 2.22 ERA in 25 starts.