Ryan Braun feeling “great” after live batting practice

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Ryan Braun (hand) may be ready to be activated from the disabled list prior to the All-Star break.

MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the rehabbing outfielder went through a session of live batting practice Saturday afternoon at Milwaukee’s Miller Park for the first time since hitting the shelf and said later that his right hand felt “great.”

Braun has been on the disabled list since June 9 with an inflamed nerve. He will hit in the cages on Sunday and then take another round of live batting practice on Monday. If that all goes well, the 29-year-old should then be cleared to play in a couple of minor league rehab games. McCalvy suspects that Braun might rejoin the Brewers’ active roster on Thursday.

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.