Cliff Lee scratched from Tuesday start with back issue

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More bad news for Cliff Lee.

The left-hander has turned in an 8.28 ERA over his last four starts and is now being scratched from his scheduled Tuesday start due to a strained muscle on the right side of his lower back.  This according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan.

Lee threw off a mound Sunday and showed improvement, but the Rangers don’t want to risk further injury.  They have nearly locked up a playoff spot for the first time since 1999 and having a healthy ace in October is crucial to postseason success.

Lee, 32, has posted a 10-8 record, a 3.37 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in 24 total starts this season.  He’s fanned 161 batters in 184.1 innings and has walked only 12.

The Rangers may push him back until the weekend, when they have a big series with the Yankees.

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.