Albert Pujols misses game to be with his wife

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Albert Pujols played Sunday after his wife gave birth early that morning, but he’s not in the lineup for Tuesday’s game against the Rangers. Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times says it’s “believed” that he’s back in St. Louis with his wife.

Pujols’s wife gave birth to the couple’s fifth child and third daughter at 3:30 a.m. Sunday. Oddly enough, that day came nine months and 10 days after Pujols inked his $254 million contract with the Angels.

Pujols’ absence comes with the Angels opening up a three-game series against the Rangers at home tonight. They’re 7 1/2 games back of Texas, 4 1/2 games back of Oakland and three games back of the second wild card with 15 games left to play.

Phillies option Hector Neris to Triple-A

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The Phillies announced that they’ve optioned right-hander Hector Neris to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Nerris, who saved 26 games as the Phillies closer in 2017 and ten games in that role this year, has struggled this year, posting a 6.00 ERA in 30 appearances. While his strikeout and walk rates aren’t too far off what he was doing last year his hit rate has spiked and he’s currently allowing 10.3 safeties per nine. The wheels have come off of late, as he has allowed nine runs on 15 hits — five of them homers — over his last eight innings of work. Yesterday he allowed four runs in the ninth inning of a game the Phillies had led by five.

It was clear that Gabe Kapler had lost faith in Neris as a result, using him almost exclusively in low-leverage situations. That changed on Saturday, as Kapler used him in a save situation and said after the game that they were easing him back into his role. That plan obviously changed after yesterday’s meltdown.

Seranthony Dominguez had been getting the call in save situations. He’ll get them more now.