Brian Roberts nearing rehab assignment

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Brian Roberts finally made it back from the concussions that threatened to ruin his career only to suffer a hamstring injury that required surgery, but the Orioles second baseman is getting close to returning from that as well.

Roberts is five weeks removed from surgery and has started traveling with the Orioles at his request because “it gives you more motivation” and “it keeps you so much more involved.”

Of course, he’ll leave the team once he’s cleared to actually begin a minor-league rehab assignment, but Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com reports that there’s no timetable for that yet. Roberts has said that once the rehab stint does start he expects it to be a brief one, although given his recent health track record it would be tough to blame for the Orioles if they wanted him to spend more than just a few games in the minors.

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.