Hisashi Iwakuma leaves Mariners and travels to Japan for “personal reasons”

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Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma has left the team and traveled back to Japan for undisclosed “personal reasons.”

Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports that Iwakuma is expected to rejoin the team in time to make his next scheduled start, which is Monday against the Blue Jays, and might even be back in the United States as soon as Saturday.

Iwakuma was an afterthought for the Mariners’ pitching staff early on this season, often going long stretches without being used, but he eventually got an opportunity for a regular role and has thrown 51 innings with a 4.56 ERA split between the rotation and bullpen.

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.