Joakim Soria close to joining Rangers

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Joakim Soria has thrown five scoreless innings while rehabbing in the minors and Master Tesfatsion of MLB.com reports that the once-dominant reliever “could join the Rangers next week.”

Soria is coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery last spring and has a 7/1 K/BB ratio while allowing just one hit in five appearances.

He’d likely be eased into a setup role in front of closer Joe Nathan and if healthy could make a huge impact in the second half. Prior to the elbow injury that knocked him out for all of last season Soria had a 2.40 ERA and 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings for the Royals from 2007-2011.

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.