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Insider

Bits: Seth Smith breaks out of slump

8/9/2011

&#8226 Colorado Rockies outfielder Seth Smith hit two home runs and knocked in four Monday, perhaps getting him back on track. Smith hit better than .300 with double-digit RBIs each of the first three months but was hitting .229 with one home run and nine RBIs since July 1. He's available in 65.4 percent of ESPN standard leagues.

&#8226 Texas Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison won his 10th game of the season Monday, topping the Seattle Mariners with seven innings of two-run ball. Harrison lowered his ERA to 3.06, and while he's likely due some regression, the wins should continue. All five Rangers starting pitchers have reached double digits in wins.

&#8226 The first American League middle infielder to reach 20 home runs is Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, after he took Jesse Crain deep Monday night. Hardy also hit two doubles and knocked in four. Hardy has struggled with a sore ankle, and he hit only .195 in July, but the power remains. He's on pace for 29 home runs!

&#8226 Chicago White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham smacked his ninth home run Monday, but with his .245 batting average and four stolen bases, it's been a disappointing season. Beckham is owned in 47.3 percent of leagues, but there are few signs of big-time power and batting average ahead.

&#8226 Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Daniel Hudson struggled against the lowly Houston Astros Monday, allowing 11 hits and seven runs (four earned) in three innings. Hudson's ERA rose to 3.84, and it's more proof that even the better pitchers sometimes get lit occasionally. Stick with Hudson this weekend against the New York Mets.

&#8226 Boston Red Sox right-hander Alfredo Aceves won his eighth game of the season Monday, though he first blew the save in the eighth inning at Minnesota. Aceves seems to have graduated from long relief outings to occasional setup duty, and his 3.18 ERA and 1.15 WHIP come in 76 1/3 innings. Aceves is 22-2 lifetime with a 3.17 ERA. He wins without hurting fantasy owners.