Umpire admits blowing call Friday in Tigers-Braves game

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Yet another umpire has acknowledged blowing a call against the Tigers.

Manager Jim Leyland said Sunday that home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom admitted making an error just hours after ringing up Tigers outfielder Johnny Damon on a called third strike Friday.  The error spoiled a bases-loaded opportunity in the ninth inning as Detroit fell to the NL East-leading Braves. 

The Peter Moylan pitch was clearly outside, and Cederstrom recognized that in a chat on the phone with Leyland late Friday night.

“I kicked it,” the ump told Leyland.  “I knew it right away.”

Tigers starter Armando Galarraga had a perfect game stripped from his grasp in early June when umpire Jim Joyce blew a close call at the first base bag on what would have been the 27th and final out.  But, hey, at least the Tigers won that game.

Cederstrom made the controversial call Friday in a bases-loaded, full count situation, and with the Tigers trailing the Braves 4-3.  A walk would have tied the game.  These mistakes will continue to happen, of course, until Major League Baseball decides to expand its use of instant replay.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.