Yasmani Grandal likely to begin minor league rehab assignment this week

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Yasmani Grandal’s first extended chance at playing time in the big leagues hit a bit of a snag when he suffered a strained right oblique two weeks ago, but he’s inching closer to beginning a minor league rehab assignment.

According to Corey Brock of MLB.com, Grandal took batting practice from both sides of the plate prior to tonight’s game against the Braves. He’s scheduled to take batting practice again tomorrow and throw to the bases. If all goes well, he’ll likely go out on a rehab stint with High-A Lake Elsinore.

Grandal, who was acquired from the Reds in the Mat Latos deal, is hitting .312/.349/.597 with five home runs, 15 RBI and a .947 OPS over his first 83 plate appearances in the majors. Padres manager Bud Black hopes to have the 23-year-old back for a series against the Giants this week, but John Baker and Nick Hundley will share playing time behind the plate for now.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.