Pitching coach Dave Duncan away from Cardinals due to personal reasons

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St. Louis was without Dave Duncan all weekend after the pitching coach left the team due to an undisclosed personal matter.

Duncan’s son, Cleveland bench player Shelley Duncan, also left the Indians for the same reason.

Bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist filled in for Duncan as pitching coach as the Cardinals lost two of three games to the Cubs, but the pitching staff was hardly to blame while allowing a total of just 10 runs in the three-game series.

Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the Cardinals are unsure when Duncan will be back with the team.

UPDATE: The team announced that Duncan’s wife underwent a “major surgery” and he’ll be gone “for an indeterminate amount of time.”

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.