Angel Pagan is finally ready to return to the Giants

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After numerous delays in his recovery from a bulging disk in his lower back Giants center fielder Angel Pagan is finally ready to come off the disabled list and is expected to rejoin the lineup Thursday.

Pagan hasn’t played for the Giants since mid-June, but appeared in a pair of minor-league rehab games at Triple-A to prepare for his return.

He was having a strong season before being shut down, hitting a career-high .307 with three homers, 11 steals, and a .767 OPS in 63 games. San Francisco has used Gregor Blanco as the primary center fielder in his absence, but the 33-year-old Pagan figures to take back the position and resume leading off.

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.