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Bits: Coco Crisp continues to run wild

9/14/2010

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Reid Brignac accounted for the lone run of Monday's brilliant pitcher's duel against the New York Yankees with a walk-off home run in the 11th inning. It was Brignac's seventh home run of the season. He hasn't played much since July, but he's only 24 and could be a middle infield sleeper in 2011.

Oakland Athletics outfielder Coco Crisp stole two more bases Monday, giving him nine in the past five games and 32 in 35 attempts this season. Crisp has done this in only 71 games and 275 at-bats; of the 17 players with 30 or more steals, all others have 428 or more at-bats. Crisp remains available in 37.7 percent of ESPN leagues.

Crisp's new Athletics teammate is former Rays/Pirates second baseman Akinori Iwamura, who walked twice and scored a run in his debut with the team Monday. Iwamura played third base and could get an extended look the rest of the season. Fantasy owners in AL-only formats should also take a look, as Iwamura has been a reliable player, though not since 2008.

Atlanta Braves right-hander Derek Lowe tossed eight shutout innings Monday to win for the 13th time, and did so with a career-best 12 strikeouts. Lowe is hardly a strikeout pitcher, with 10 in his previous three starts, but with one run allowed in two September starts, he seems healthy and worth trusting.

Florida Marlins slugger Dan Uggla homered Monday, becoming the first second baseman in history to reach the 30-home run mark four times. Uggla is also hitting a robust .281, well above his career mark of .257 entering the season. Fantasy owners won't be able to sneak Uggla through to Round 12, his average live pick this season; he's 43rd on the Player Rater.

Chicago Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija made his first start of the season -- he appeared in relief in April -- and tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings, though he allowed six hits and four walks. Samardzija, 25, could have a bright future, but fantasy owners shouldn't count on him until next year, at least.