There's a chance Cliff Lee returns this month

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cliff lee throwing.JPGThe Mariners were so encouraged by Cliff Lee’s 63-pitch bullpen session on Monday that they haven’t ruled out his return before the end of the month. Here’s what manager Don Wakamatsu told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times:

“Yeah, that’s our tendency right now…that’s a possibility,” Wakamatsu
said.

Lee’s return might be expedited if the Mariners choose to limit him to one simulated game followed by one minor league rehab start. One significant factor in this timetable is whether Lee’s five-game suspension is reduced during his appeal hearing on Wednesday.

Basically, worst-case scenario is that M’s fans get Lee back in the first week of May. That doesn’t sound so bad right now.

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.