Knee injury keeps Molina out of celebration

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina topped NL vote-getters

for the All-Star Game. He wasn’t around to celebrate with the

team’s other four All-Stars.

Molina was sent for medical tests for a knee injury and did not

play Saturday against the Marlins, but before leaving he told

teammates he didn’t believe it was anything serious.

Pitcher Adam Wainwright said Molina told him he’d probably be OK

with a little rest and that the tests were ”purely

precautionary.” Molina has been among the best players in the

league the first half of the season.

”It’s been bothering him a little bit, I think,” Wainwright

said. ”What he told me is it’s not something a couple days won’t

heal him up. I think he’s going to be just fine.”

Manager Mike Matheny said the knee began bothering Molina on

Friday night.

”We saw some things during the game that gave us an

indication,” Matheny said. ”So we’re going to have to wait and

see what the medical staff says.”

Molina has played in 81 of St. Louis’ 86 games and leads the

National League with a .346 average. He has six homers and 45 RBIs.

Backup Tony Cruz made his eighth start of the season and first

since June 26.

Wainwright was named to his second All-Star team, though he

won’t be able to pitch. The Cardinals adjusted their rotation to

give the 11-game winner two more starts before the break, and he’ll

work the final game before the break next Sunday.

”I’m perfectly OK with that,” Wainwright said. ”I know the

rules. They just said I can’t pitch, they never said I couldn’t

pinch hit.”

Wainwright said a chance to help the Cardinals make the

postseason trumped an opportunity to pitch an inning or two in the

All-Star Game.

”Would I rather have two more starts and try to help the team

win two more games or pitch the seventh inning?” Wainwright said.

”I’m taking the two games every time.”

Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter are first-time selections.

Longtime former Met fan favorite Carlos Beltran also made the team

for the game set for Citi Field.

”I’m just blessed to be a part of it one more time,” Beltran

said. ”Maybe they want me back, I don’t know. They love me over

there, no doubt about it.”

Craig was manager Bruce Bochy’s selection. He’s among the league

leaders with 68 RBIs and leads the league batting with runners in

scoring position.

”I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about it,” Craig

said. ”I didn’t necessarily get my hopes up because I understand

how it works, so I just had an open mind about it.”