ST. LOUIS – Fifteen years in the making, the St. Louis Cardinals’ legendary tandem of Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina will match a remarkable feat in baseball history.

Wainwright and Molina take the field Thursday for their 324th career start together. The dynamic duo is now only one start away from sole possession of the record for most starts as a battery.

For more than half of a century, the record has been held by Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan of the Detroit Tigers, who played together 12 years in the 1960s and ’70s. While Wainwright and Molina have been teammates at the MLB level since 2005, their current run at the record began when Wainwright became a full-time starter in April 2007.

If the rotation sticks as planned, Wainwright and Molina could officially set the record in the next home series, either Sept. 13 or 14, against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Wainwright and Molina entered the 2022 season with a combined 305 starts, which was then fourth-most in MLB history. This season alone, the pair has already passed Red Faber and Ray Schalk of the Chicago White Sox (306) and Warren Spahn and Del Crandall of the formerly-known Boston/Milwaukee Braves (316).

An obstacle to the record emerged midseason when Molina landed on the injured list with persistent knee soreness. The 19-year backstop missed nearly a month and a half of action, putting the record chase on hold at 316 starts from June 11 to Aug. 2.

Molina has acknowledged several times that the 2022 season will be his final as a catcher with the St. Louis Cardinals and at the MLB level. Wainwright has not yet announced his future plans beyond this year, but has found top form deeper into his career and earned several one-year contracts over the last few seasons.

Molina leads all Cardinals catchers with 2,210 games played, 2,160 hits, 173 home runs and 1,014 RBIs and 18,188 innings caught. Wainwright enters the historic start third in wins (194), fourth in games started (384) and second in strikeouts (2,136) in Cardinals history.

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