<
>
Insider

Bits: Hiroki Kuroda flirts with no-hitter

8/31/2010

Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday until Shane Victorino lined a single. Kuroda went 7 2/3 shutout innings to outduel Roy Halladay, lowering his ERA to 3.39. Kuroda has a 0.64 career ERA against the Phillies.

Chicago Cubs right-hander Carlos Zambrano allowed one unearned run in 5 1/3 innings Monday, his fifth consecutive outing in which he's permitted two or fewer runs. Zambrano also homered for the first time this season. While he's still walking too many hitters -- he issued four free passes against the Pittsburgh Pirates -- Zambrano is pitching better, and he's available in 78 percent of ESPN standard leagues.

Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Wade Davis tossed seven strong innings against the Toronto Blue Jays, winning for the 11th time. Davis gave up six hits, two runs and no walks and he hasn't lost in more than two months. It seems the disabled list stint Davis served earlier in August hasn't held him back.

Oakland Athletics first baseman Jeff Larish homered, singled, doubled and knocked in four runs in a loss at Yankee Stadium. A left-handed hitter with good minor league power numbers, Larish is past prospect status at age 27, but he's getting an opportunity. Those in AL-only formats should roster him. He's hitting .333 with the Athletics.

Cleveland Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner doubled three times and singled once against the Chicago White Sox. While visions of his MVP-caliber seasons are long gone, Hafner is hitting .282 with a .832 OPS. He has only one home run in August, but at least he's becoming relevant for batting average again.

Houston Astros first baseman Brett Wallace has not hit at the major league level, but he did go 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI on Monday. Wallace's three hits matched his output for his past 11 games. There's little reason to roster him unless he starts hitting consistently, but when he does, remember he brings power potential.