Pablo Sandoval back in Giants’ lineup, Angel Pagan still out

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Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News reports that third baseman Pablo Sandoval is back in the Giants’ starting lineup on Tuesday night against the Blue Jays after missing San Francisco’s three-game weekend series in St. Louis because of a foot strain.

Angel Pagan, on the other hand, remains sidelined by a right hamstring strain and will miss his eighth straight game. Gregor Blanco will start in center field in his place and Andres Torres will patrol left.

Sandoval, 26, is batting .288/.328/.434 with eight home runs and 37 RBI in 53 games this season. The Giants enter play Tuesday with a 30-27 record and a two-game deficit behind the division-leading Diamondbacks in the National League West.

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.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.