Pirates activate Neil Walker from the disabled list

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Pittsburgh activated Neil Walker from the disabled list after the second baseman missed three weeks with a lacerated finger.

Walker needed six stitches after being spiked by Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma on April 27.

After initially turning to Brandon Inge at second base in Walker’s absence the Pirates moved on to Jordy Mercer. But despite hitting three homers in nine games Mercer is headed back to Triple-A to make room on the roster for Walker.

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.