The Brewers release Randy Wolf on his birthday

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Happy birthday, Randy Wolf!  Your present? Your unconditional release. Sincerely, the Milwaukee Brewers.

Not that it was undeserved. Wolf has been awful this year, posting a 5.69 ERA and 96/45 K/BB ratio over 142 1/3 innings this season. That combined with the need to find room for the soon-to-be-activated Shaun Marcum and to clear up space for auditions of pitchers who could help the Brewers next year made this move all but inevitable.

But hey: more free time tonight to go to Chuck E. Cheese or to get a free dinner at Denny’s or something.  Beats how I spent my 36th birthday.

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.