PIT@STL: Molina's blast continues Cards' barrage

ST. LOUIS -- Yadier and Bengie Molina rejoined the Cardinals on Friday after spending the last two days by the side of their mother, Gladys, as she underwent and recovered from a heart procedure.

After taking batting practice on Friday, Yadier Molina spoke briefly about the events of the last few days, which he described as "scary." Gladys Molina had traveled to St. Louis on Sunday to spend time with her family but began feeling unwell on Tuesday. She was admitted to a local hospital later that day and underwent surgery.

The Molinas missed the Cardinals' games on Wednesday and Thursday.

"When that happens, obviously, you think about your team, but you want to be beside your mom and try to get her the help that she needs," Yadier Molina said. "They are still going to do some tests, so we'll see what happens. But right now, she's doing better."

Brother Jose Molina left the Rays to also join the family in St. Louis on Thursday, but he has since returned to his club. Extended family members, including Gladys' brothers, have come in to be with her. Yadier Molina said he was thankful that his mother was in St. Louis, not back at her home in Puerto Rico, at the time of the medical scare so that he and Bengie could ensure that she received the best possible treatment.

"We didn't expect [this]," Yadier Molina said. "Thank God for everyone who was praying for my mom's health and to the people who were working with her."

Adams getting valuable at-bats in place of Craig

MIL@STL: Adams drills a solo home run to right

ST. LOUIS -- While the Cardinals still hope to have Allen Craig back before the end of the season, the opportunity to get Matt Adams regular at-bats for the time being could pay dividends even if he does soon lose the playing time to Craig.

Though he remained the team's biggest bat off the bench, Adams had seen his production dip considerably in the second half. At the time of Craig's foot injury, Adams, in 29 games, was hitting just .176 with two homers and 10 RBIs since the All-Star break.

Adams has started all but one of the eight games since and, including the two home runs he hit after subbing in for Craig on Sept. 4, has gone 9-for-29 with four homers since the Cardinals lost their starting first baseman. Even if he were to end up back on the bench in the postseason, Adams at least feels that he's better fit to succeed.

"Big time," Adams said, when asked how much the regular playing time has helped. "I'm getting my rhythm and timing back to where it was in the early part of the year. I have to keep showing up to the park and doing my work day in and day out, and I'll be good."

Cards take part in Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations

ST. LOUIS -- Sunday marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

To honor the annual celebration, the Cardinals' 2011 World Series Trophy was on display at the Hispanic Festival in St. Louis last Sunday, where guests had an opportunity to take photos with a piece of Cardinals' history.

Cardinals community relations also donated 10 field box tickets to the festival to be auctioned off, with the proceeds going toward scholarships for three Latino college-bound teenagers in the Greater St. Louis area.

Worth noting

Trevor Rosenthal remained away from the Cardinals for a second straight day on Friday after his wife, Lindsey, gave birth to their first child, daughter Chloe, at 1:10 a.m. CT Friday morning. Manager Mike Matheny said he visited the Rosenthal family at the hospital on Friday and that, aside from the couple being tired, "everyone is healthy and lots of smiles."

Rosenthal plans to rejoin the Cardinals on Saturday.

• The Cardinals' rookie-level team in State College lost to Tri City, 4-3, in the decisive game of the New York-Penn League championship series on Thursday. Despite falling a win short of the title, State College finished the season 33-10 at in the regular season and postseason. Their consecutive home losses in the championship series this week marked the only time this year that the Spikes lost two home games in a row.

• The Cardinals will surpass the three-million attendance mark at Busch Stadium on Friday, making this the 10th straight year in which the organization has passed that benchmark. The Cardinals have the second-highest average home attendance (41,620) in the Majors, behind the Dodgers, and have drawn at 94.6 percent capacity this year.

• With 16 games remaining, Matt Carpenter has the chance to become the first Cardinal since Albert Pujols in 2003 to record 200 hits in a season. Carpenter entered Friday with a National League-high 178, putting him on pace to finish with 197. He also remains two doubles shy of reaching 50. That, too, was last done by Pujols, in '03 and '04.