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Insider

A.J. Griffin continues to dazzle

Oakland Athletics right-hander A.J. Griffin tossed eight shutout innings at the Angels Wednesday, allowing six hits while fanning six. Griffin joins Jered Weaver as the only pitchers in history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, to go undefeated in their first 11 big league starts with an ERA lower than 2.00. Griffin, now 6-0 with a 1.94 ERA, remains available in nearly half of ESPN's standard leagues.

San Diego Padres left-hander Clayton Richard won his 13th game of the season and lowered his ERA to 3.74 with seven innings of two-run ball Wednesday. Richard entered play with an ERA nearly two runs lower at Petco Park, then lowered it some more. Richard doesn't pile on the strikeouts, as he's on pace for only 111, but he should be owned in a lot more than 15 percent of leagues.

Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez smacked the 10th home run of his abbreviated season Wednesday, and has hit in 16 consecutive games. Perez, who missed the first half of the season after knee surgery, certainly cooled down in August when he hit .258, but is 17-for-40 this month. Add the hot hitter even if you've got a top catcher, and use Perez at utility.

Atlanta Braves left-hander Paul Maholm got tuned up for the second time in three outings Wednesday, allowing eight runs (six earned) over 4 1/3 innings to the streaking Milwaukee Brewers. Maholm, acquired from the Chicago Cubs in July, posted a 1.84 ERA in July/August, but has totaled only 11 2/3 innings in three September starts, permitting 15 runs (13 earned). He remains owned in two-thirds of leagues, but it appears time to move on.

Chicago White Sox corner infielder Kevin Youkilis smacked a pair of home runs and knocked in four Wednesday. Youkilis entered play hitting .201 since the All-Star break, though with power, and it's not a surprise he's down to 83 percent owned. It's tough to make a case Wednesday was the start of something big for Youkilis, though.

San Francisco Giants veteran Marco Scutaro, who hit three singles Wednesday, scored twice, knocked in two and even stole his ninth base, has seven multi-hit games in his past nine. Scutaro didn't do much with the Colorado Rockies this season, but is batting .341 for the Giants. Over the past 30 days, he's eighth on the Player Rater at middle infield.