Cardinals All-Star catcher Yadier Molina left Wednesday night's game against the Pirates in the third inning with a sprained right thumb, the team announced. St. Louis manager Mike Matheny told reporters after the game Molina underwent an MRI exam and the team would wait for results on Thursday.
Molina hit a ground-rule double in the second inning on Wednesday, then advanced to third on a grounder by Allen Craig. Molina appeared to hurt his thumb sliding into third base. After the injury Molina remained in the game to catch the bottom of the third inning, but was removed for pinch hitter Tony Cruz in the bottom of the inning.
The veteran catcher, who turns 32 on Sunday, is hitting .287/.341/.409 with seven home runs and 15 doubles in 82 games this season for the Cardinals, and has thrown out 17 of 35 potential base stealers (48.6 percent), the third-best caught-stealing rate in the National League.
The 11-year veteran has been durable behind the plate, averaging 135 games caught in the previous five seasons, never fewer than 131 games caught during that span, and has caught 81 of the Cardinals' 92 games so far in 2014. Molina's 760 games caught since the start of the 2009 season ranks first in the majors, 73 games more than any other catcher.
Molina, who has finished third and fourth in the last two years respectively in National League MVP voting, on Sunday was named to his sixth consecutive NL All-Star team, and elected by the fans to start for a fourth time.