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Pujols returns, Molina leaves with side injury

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Albert Pujols was hitless in his return to the lineup, but Yadier Molina left the St. Louis Cardinals' 4-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday because of a side injury.

The All-Star catcher left the game in the second inning with a strained right oblique and will be reevaluated on Thursday. He was injured while sliding into second base with a double. Molina advanced to third on David Freese’s single to center, but did not even try to score.

He left the game immediately thereafter, walking off the infield holding his right side.

Pujols, the reigning National League MVP, was scratched from Monday's lineup because of a bad back. He underwent an MRI and received an anti-inflammatory injection. He followed Tuesday's off day by going 0 for 3 with a walk.