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Box Score Bits: LaPorta's value rising

6/30/2010

&#8226 Cleveland Indians first baseman Matt LaPorta homered Tuesday, his second of the season and first since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus during the weekend. LaPorta, now a regular after the Russell Branyan trade, should hit for power and average; he was hitting .373 with power in the minors.

&#8226 The Boston Red Sox got strong production from replacements Tuesday, as Jason Varitek and Bill Hall each knocked in a pair of runs in a win against the Tampa Bay Rays. With starters Victor Martinez and Dustin Pedroia on the DL, Varitek and Hall should play quite a bit. Neither are mixed-league worthy, but Varitek should hit home runs, while Hall can be spot-started against southpaws for fantasy.

Box Score Bits

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&#8226 The Philadelphia Phillies played their first game Tuesday since placing Chase Utley and Placido Polanco on the DL, with Wilson Valdez and Greg Dobbs filling in. Valdez homered and knocked in four runs, his third round-tripper in 10 days. If he keeps hitting for power, which there's little reason to expect he will, NL-only owners will need to look his way.

&#8226 Detroit Tigers right-hander Armando Galarraga got lit Tuesday for six runs in four innings, his worst outing in an erratic season. Galarraga isn't popular in fantasy, as most owners saw his near-perfect game as an aberration, but he might be in danger of losing his rotation spot soon.

&#8226 Minnesota Twins center fielder Denard Span enjoyed Galarraga's offerings, hitting two of his three triples off him Tuesday. Span knocked in five runs with his four hits, and raised his batting average to .284. He remains a reliable option for runs and stolen bases, too, and he's a career .309 hitter after the All-Star break.

&#8226 Chicago Cubs left-hander Ted Lilly beat the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday for his third win in 13 starts, but with a 3.12 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, he has deserved much better. In Lilly's past eight starts, the Cubs have scored a total of 13 runs. Own Lilly for the peripheral numbers and strikeouts, and hope the run support -- and wins -- will come.