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Cards’ Wainwright, Molina make record 325th start as battery

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright and catcher Yadier Molina made their 325th career start together on Wednesday night, setting a major league record for most as a battery.

The St. Louis duo eclipsed the regular-season mark of 324 by the Detroit Tigers pair of Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan from 1963-1975.

Wainwright and Molina received a standing ovation from the crowd at Busch Stadium as they walked from the bullpen to the dugout prior the game against Milwaukee.

“A lot has taken place in that time span and that’s why I think this record is pretty darn cool,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said before the game. “I don’t see anyone coming close to ever reaching it again.”

Towels with the No. 325 were given out to fans as they entered the ballpark.

Wainwright threw a first-pitch strike to Christian Yelich to begin the game. Highlights from the career of both players were displayed on the scoreboard after the opening inning as the NL Central leaders hosted the Brewers.

Wainwright and Molina made their first start together on April 6, 2007, in Houston. Wainwright recorded a 4-2 win, the first of his 212 victories with Molina behind the plate.

The 40-year-old Molina has indicated he will retire at the end of this season. The 41-year-old Wainwright has yet to make a decision on his future.

The next active pair behind Wainwright and Molina is the Chicago Cubs battery of Kyle Hendricks and Willson Contreras, who have 105 starts together.

Wainwright has thrown 2,136 of his 2,548 innings (83.8 percent) to Molina. He and Molina have teamed up to record 1,812 strikeouts.

Only six current major league players – Albert Pujols, Nelson Cruz, Miguel Cabrera, Zack Greinke, Rich Hill and Justin Verlander were active when Wainwright and Molina made their first start together.

Wainwright and Molina are best friends off the field as well. Wainwright introduced Molina to NHL hockey. The pair attended several games together during the St. Louis Blues’ run to the Stanley Cup championship in 2019.

Wainwright and his family celebrated Thanksgiving at the Molina residence in Puerto Rico in November.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

By STEVE OVERBEY
Associated Press

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