- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee homered among his four hits Thursday and extended his consecutive hit streak to nine at-bats, three short of the big league mark. McGehee was not good in June/July, but he's hitting .395 in August with four home runs and 15 RBIs. Trade for him with confidence.
Daniel Bard owners surely get a bit more interested each time Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon blows a save, as he did in ugly fashion Thursday, but don't expect a change anytime soon. Papelbon had been perfect in 24 career save chances against the Toronto Blue Jays, and while his ERA climbed to 3.26, he had allowed one earned run since June.
San Francisco Giants outfielder Pat Burrell homered in the fourth and fifth innings Thursday, including a grand slam, giving him 10 home runs and a stunning .299 batting average in 53 games in the National League. Burrell's time with the Tampa Bay Rays was a disaster, but he's hitting now and should be owned in a lot more than 1.5 percent of mixed leagues.
San Diego Padres right-hander Jon Garland tossed six innings of one-hit, no-run ball Thursday, earning his 11th win. Garland's work at Petco Park this season has been outstanding, as he lowered his home ERA to 2.58. Available in 43 percent of ESPN standard leagues, note Garland's next two starts are likely on the road, where his ERA is 4.52.
Meanwhile, Florida Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco can be frustrating to own, since his ERA entering Thursday was 4.57, but he tossed six shutout innings in Washington, fanning eight and winning his 13th game. Nolasco's home ballpark is pitcher-friendly, but his home ERA is 5.46. Including Thursday, Nolasco's road ERA is 3.58.
Minnesota Twins second baseman Orlando Hudson homered and scored two runs Thursday. In four games since coming off a DL stint, Hudson has five hits -- four for extra bases -- in 15 at-bats and has scored five runs. He's available in two-thirds of ESPN mixed leagues and safe for batting average.