Pirates place Ryan Doumit and Steve Pearce on 15-day DL

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The Pirates’ lineup got a little lighter Monday, with both Ryan Doumit and Steve Pearce joining Pedro Alvarez (quad) on the disabled list.

Doumit suffered a sprained left ankle when Carlos Pena slid into him at home plate in Sunday’s game aganist the Cubs.

Pearce, who had been getting most of the starts at third base with Alvarez on the shelf, left Saturday’s game with a sore calf.

When the Pirates chose not to replace Pearce before Sunday’s game, they were left with no real alternative but to bat Brandon Wood and Ronny Cedeno with the tying run on base in the ninth inning Sunday against Cubs closer Carlos Marmol. Of course, they ended up losing that one. The miracle of the game was that Wood actually hit a weak groundout instead of striking out.

With Doumit out, the Pirates will turn to Dusty Brown as the backup catcher.  Chris Snyder will get more playing time behind the plate.

Pearce’s replacement on the roster is infielder Josh Harrison.  A 5-foot-8 utilityman, he’ll make his major league debut after hitting .321/.361/.455 in 134 at-bats for Triple-A Indianapolis.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.

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.