Neil Walker departs game with dislocated right finger

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The Pirates have lost six of their last eight, falling to six games back of the Reds in the National League Central standings. And here’s even more bad news.

From beat writer Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette comes word that second baseman Neil Walker was lifted in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Dodgers after suffering a dislocated finger on his right hand in a nasty collision with Dodgers baserunner Mark Ellis.

Josh Harrison slid over from third base and Pedro Alvarez entered to play the hot corner.

Walker, 26, is batting .290/.353/.452 with 14 home runs and 67 RBI in 114 games played this season. The Pirates will reevaluate him Thursday morning before deciding whether a disabled list stint is necessary.

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.