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Bits: Jennings turning it up in August

8/13/2012

Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings homered and stole a base Sunday and over the past five games is 9-for-19 with nine runs scored, raising his batting average from .233 to .246. Hopefully Jennings is erasing his disappointing label, but at the least someone on pace for 13 home runs and 30 steals should be universally owned.

Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Chris Capuano tossed eight shutout innings Sunday in Miami, allowing two singles, three walks and striking out 10. It was a nice treat for fantasy owners, as Capuano had lost three consecutive starts and his season road ERA was 4.66. At home, it's 2.17. Keep the 33-year-old active for his next outing in Atlanta.

Similarly, Seattle Mariners lefty Jason Vargas entered Sunday with a stark difference in home/road ERA (2.63/4.55). Then Vargas outdueled Jered Weaver in Anaheim, permitting one run in 8 1/3 innings. Vargas boasts a 1.92 ERA over his past five road outings. It might be surprising, but Vargas is shedding his spot-starter label.

Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado completed his first big league weekend with a .375 batting average and three home runs. Machado took Kansas City Royals lefty Bruce Chen deep to the opposite field Sunday, after swatting two home runs and knocking in four Friday night. Machado vaulted to the top of ESPN's most-added list in three days. Own him while he's hot, but remember this was Royals pitching, too.

Speaking of young shortstops, Milwaukee Brewers rookie Jean Segura singled twice Sunday, on the heels of doing so Saturday, and should continue to play regularly. Segura, 22, isn't nearly the prospect Machado is, and he's still looking for his first walk and extra-base hit, but he should start stealing bases soon. Also, the Brewers are at Coors Field this week.

Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana played left field for four innings of Sunday's 14-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox, adding eligibility for those in one-game formats. Santana, who started the game at first base and is eligible there for ESPN leagues this season, also knocked in Cleveland's lone run. Fantasy owners mostly want Santana to hit, which he's done since July began (.969 OPS, seven home runs, 24 RBIs). Use him at catcher and smile.