Pablo Sandoval has had elbow problems for the past two weeks and had a setback Friday while playing in a spring training game, but he’s in the Giants’ lineup for Opening Day against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers.
Sandoval is starting at third base and batting third after manager Bruce Bochy said over the weekend that his availability would “go down to the wire.”
Sandoval missed five weeks with a broken hamate bone last season and struggled in the second half after returning, but then had a huge postseason and hit .400 this spring.
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.