Athletics name Brandon McCarthy their fifth starter

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The A’s have set their season-opening starting rotation and former top prospect Brandon McCarthy is going to get a shot.

From Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News comes word that the Athletics have made McCarty their No. 5 starter over the younger and arguably more talented Tyson Ross.

McCarthy, 27, did not make a start in the major leagues last year due to a stress fracture in his right shoulder blade, but he has struck out 20 batters and issued only one walk across 26 stellar Cactus League innings this spring.

“He’s got some previous experience and had a great spring,” Oakland manager Bob Geren said Saturday. “It wasn’t an easy decision, and I’m happy it wasn’t. That means guys are throwing the ball well.”

Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez and Dallas Braden will fill out the top of an impressive Oakland rotation. With that spacious ballpark and with these talented arms, the A’s are primed for a breakout.

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.