Yadier Molina makes history for Cardinals


Chalk up another win for the St. Louis Cardinals, this one coming in the eighth inning. Co-editor Steve Ungrey has the latest from Busch.

Yadier Molina has lost a little of the steam on his bat in the last few years.

That said, the St. Louis Cardinals veteran catcher can still deliver the wallop when it matters.

In perhaps his biggest homer since Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series, Molina’s eighth-inning solo shot propelled the Cardinals to a 4-3 win over the San Francisco Giants in the close of a three-game series at Busch Stadium.

The homer, off Giants reliever Hunter Strickland, was the 100th of his career.

Consider this: Molina didn’t hit his first longball of the season until June 15. This homer was big because it kept the Cardinals (77-43) safely in front of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs for the National League Central lead.

An RBI single by Molina in the first, followed by a solo homer from Stephen Piscotty in the third inning, put St. Louis up 2-0. A Matt Cain sacrifice fly and RBI singles by Brandon Crawford and Kelby Tomlinson put San Francisco up 3-2, but the Cardinals rallied off a Carpenter fielder’s choice play that scored Tommy Pham to make it 3-3. Molina’s homer then won the game.

Kevin Siegrist (5-0) stayed perfect and got the win in relief of Jaime Garcia, who struck out five in 6 1/3 innings of work. Trevor Rosenthal earned his 38th save.

What’s next?

The Cardinals have an off-day on Thursday before heading to Petco Park to begin a three-game series with the San Diego Padres on Friday. John Lackey (10-7, 2.87) will face the Padres’ Andrew Cashner (4-12, 4.20) in the opener. Each pitcher has 116 strikeouts.