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Bits: Straily struggles in second outing

8/9/2012

Oakland Athletics right-hander Dan Straily struggled in his second big league start Wednesday, allowing four home runs among eight hits and five runs over 4 2/3 innings. Straily, the minor league strikeout king who pitched well against Toronto in his debut, will miss many bats, but Wednesday was a rude awakening and a reminder he's 23 and finished 2011 pitching in A-ball.

Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis went hitless in three at-bats Wednesday, but at least he stole a pair of bases. Kipnis was leading the AL in steals in mid-June, but even with Wednesday's output, he has swiped only four bases over the past five weeks. Plus, Kipnis is hitting .214 with nary a home run since July 1. Don't drop fantasy's No. 3 second baseman for the season, but be careful with expectations, or what you trade for him.

Boston Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett struggled again Wednesday, allowing eight runs in five innings against the Texas Rangers. Beckett, who has won only once since May, gave up three home runs, but that seems to be an anomaly; nobody had homered off him since May. Beckett might be headed for the DL with back issues, but those in deep leagues shouldn't give up yet. He's not this bad.

• While Jose Reyes continues to hit and Giancarlo Stanton launched a pair of home runs Wednesday, a Miami Marlins feel-good story continues to be surprising outfielder Justin Ruggiano. He had two hits, an RBI and his 10th stolen base (in 54 games with the Marlins) in the 13-0 rout of the New York Mets, and while we all wait for major batting average regression that hasn't come yet, the power/speed combo remains apparent.

• Of course, even on a day when many runs were scored, no hitter had a day like San Francisco Giants infielder Marco Scutaro. He homered and knocked in seven runs in a 15-0 win at St. Louis. The versatile Scutaro, now eligible at three infield positions but best utilized at middle infield, has five multihit games in his past 10 and can help fantasy owners in batting average and runs scored.

Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Jim Henderson saved Wednesday's win over the Cincinnati Reds, his second consecutive save. Former closer John Axford pitched the eighth inning. While this doesn't officially signify a change, it's time to add Henderson. He was, after all, closing effectively at Triple-A Nashville.