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Bits: Jon Lester's struggles continue

7/23/2012

Boston Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester was hammered mercilessly for 11 earned runs by the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday, allowing nine hits and five walks in four innings. His season ERA rose to 5.46, and in his past three painful outings, he's thrown a total of 12 1/3 innings, allowing 22 runs (21 earned). However, dropping Lester in any league is dangerous, as the career achievements for the 13th pitcher chosen in ESPN average live drafts are well-known. Keep him owned, but on the bench for now.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Angels right-hander Dan Haren came off the DL Sunday and tossed six innings of two-run ball against the Texas Rangers, allowing three hits, one a Nelson Cruz home run, and striking out three. Haren, who missed a few weeks with back pain and had been struggling, delivered his best outing since May. He's not owned in all leagues, but should be.

Minnesota Twins catcher Ryan Doumit homered twice and knocked in four runs Sunday, raising his season batting average to .291. Doumit hadn't homered in a month, but he's hitting .344 in July and on pace for top-10 catcher numbers. Doumit is owned in roughly 10 percent of ESPN leagues.

Detroit Tigers outfielder Brennan Boesch homered Saturday and Sunday against the Chicago White Sox, continuing a strong July in which he's hitting .380 with 16 RBIs in 15 games. Boesch has been a disappointment this season, but his recent play has him among the most-added outfielders in ESPN standard leagues.

Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Josh Collmenter threw six innings of two-run ball Sunday, beating the lowly Houston Astros in his first outing since replacing rookie Trevor Bauer in the rotation. Collmenter was awful in April (9.82 ERA) as a starter, but in his four starts since has posted a 2.04 ERA. Collmenter isn't as good as his 2011 statistics, but he's a worthy short-term addition in deeper leagues.

Washington Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina had three hits, two RBIs and a stolen base Sunday; for the weekend he was 8-for-11 and raised his season batting average 38 points. With Rick Ankiel having been released, Bernadina stands to see more short-term playing time in center field, at least until Jayson Werth returns from the DL, and Bernadina can be a decent source of steals.