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Wily Peralta

Molina exits with thumb sprain as Cardinals beat Cubs 4-3

Addison Russell's fly ball in the eighth inning Sunday might be the most important play in baseball so far this year.

St. Louis star catcher Yadier Molina suffered a sprained left thumb on the play as the Cubs ran themselves out of late scoring chances and the Cardinals ended Chicago's five-game winning streak and avoided a sweep with a 4-3 win Sunday.

The Cardinals moved six games ahead of Chicago in the NL Central. The Pirates beat the Dodgers on Sunday to remain four games behind St. Louis.

Molina was injured tagging out Anthony Rizzo on Russell's sacrifice-fly attempt in the eighth. Right fielder Jason Heyward had the assist, throwing out Rizzo on the no-out,...