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Box Score Bits: Lester, Fowler hot again

Milwaukee Brewers closer -- for now -- Trevor Hoffman blew his fourth save of the season Wednesday, and second consecutive against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He's allowed six home runs and 13 runs in nine innings after allowing two home runs and 11 runs all of 2009. Look for LaTroy Hawkins, Hoffman's primary setup man, to get the call Thursday if a save chance arises.

• Don't bench your aces! Boston Red Sox lefty Jon Lester spun his best outing of the season Wednesday, allowing one hit and fanning 11 Toronto Blue Jays for his first win, lowering his ERA to 4.71. Lester is a noted slow starter, so this dominant outing is a very good sign indeed.

Minnesota Twins designated hitter Jim Thome replaced an injured Justin Morneau in the cleanup spot Wednesday and homered in the first inning, his fourth homer of the season in limited playing time. As noted in Wednesday's blog, Thome is becoming fantasy relevant, whether Morneau is healthy or not.

Box Score Bits

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• Little known Washington Nationals rookie Luis Atilano won for the second time in as many starts Wednesday, stifling the Chicago Cubs over six innings. Be wary of Atilano, who did not have stellar minor league stats. In his two starts he has two strikeouts and five walks.

Colorado Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler homered, stole a base and delivered his fourth multihit game in five days Wednesday. He's raised his batting average 86 points in that span, and tightened his grip on the center-field job. Fowler remains a work in progress, but he did steal 27 bases in 2009.

San Francisco Giants outfielder Nate Schierholtz brought a .300 batting average into Wednesday's game, but little else to help fantasy owners in terms of power or speed. However, his five-hit game against the Philadelphia Phillies raised his batting average 78 points, and will continue to earn him playing time over John Bowker.