Berkman returns to practice with 'not serious' knee injury

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The knee problem that kept Lance Berkman from working out yesterday has been diagnosed as a left knee contusion, with team doctor David Lintner deeming the injury “not serious” and Berkman returning to action this morning.
Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle reports that Berkman had a “limited workout” that included taking a few swings and some ground balls at first base. “The good news from the MRI is whatever the problem is, I’m not going to be able to make it worse,” Berkman said. “So there’s no reason not to try to do as much as I can.”
Despite the good news Berkman won’t play in the Astros’ spring training opener tomorrow and may also sit out Friday’s game.

Brandon Crawford homers off brother-in-law Gerrit Cole

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You can’t pick your family and no one knows that better than Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. His sister Amy married Astros starter Gerrit Cole in November 2016, so the two players are brothers-in-law.

The two players have matched up against each other 18 times in the past, as Cole spent his first five seasons in the National League with the Pirates. Cole often won that battle, holding Crawford to four hits — all singles — in 18 plate appearances.

Crawford finally got the better of Cole on Tuesday night, hitting a line drive into the appropriately-named Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park for a two-run home run, cutting the Astros’ lead to 5-2.