- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
Box Score Bits
Get your brief daily look at the previous day's box scores first thing every Monday through Friday.
• Erratic Boston Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka followed up his near no-hitter in Philadelphia by walking eight Kansas City Royals on Thursday, showing why he's such a fantasy risk. Matsuzaka allowed only two hits and three runs in 4 2/3 innings, but he threw 112 pitches. Until he shows consistency, he's tough to trust.
• Speaking of walks, New York Mets right-hander Mike Pelfrey issued five of them to the struggling Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, but he didn't allow a run in seven scoreless innings. Pelfrey is 10th in the NL in walks, but also 10th with a 2.54 ERA. If he can't cut down on the former, the latter will rise.
• Minnesota Twins right-hander Nick Blackburn rarely gives free passes, and his opponent Thursday, the New York Yankees, didn't get any. Blackburn went seven innings for the fifth consecutive start, all of them wins, and last issued more than two walks in a game nine starts ago. He's owned in just 5.4 percent of leagues.
• St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Brendan Ryan homered, stole a base and scored three runs in a 4-for-4 performance Thursday, which could help him usurp playing time from Felipe Lopez. Ryan is hitting .203, but he's better than that, having hit .292 in semi-regular time last season, and he's also a stolen base threat.
• Former Cardinal Scott Rolen continues to hit for the Cincinnati Reds, smacking his 11th home run in Thursday's rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates. With his next home run, Rolen, owned in 55 percent of ESPN leagues, will top his season marks since 2006. Despite the surprising power start, don't assume Rolen is a sell-high option.
• Minnesota Twins outfielder Jason Kubel entered Thursday with three home runs in 38 games, then hit a pair of home runs and knocked in five against the Yankees. Kubel has three games with four or more RBIs in his past 10, upping his season pace to more than 100, so buy low if you still can.