Jose Altuve expected to return to action Sunday

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Astros second baseman Jose Altuve hasn’t appeared in a game in six days because of a mild right hamstring strain. But he was available for use as a pinch-hitter on Saturday afternoon against the Cubs and is nearly ready to return for good.

According to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, Astros manager Brad Mills told reporters after Saturday’s 3-2 loss that he plans to write Altuve’s name into the lineup for Sunday’s series finale at Wrigley Field.

Altuve, 22, is hitting .309/.351/.453 with five homers, four triples and 12 steals in 71 games this season.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.