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Scott Baker, Jon Lester leave with injuries

7/6/2011

&#8226 Minnesota Twins right-hander Scott Baker left Tuesday's home outing against the Tampa Bay Rays after five innings with a mild right-elbow strain. Baker allowed one unearned run and lowered his ERA to 3.01. Owned in 90.6 percent of standard leagues, it's premature to cut Baker, even if a DL stint is pending.

&#8226 Also of concern is the strained left lat injury that forced Boston Red Sox lefty Jon Lester out after four hitless frames Tuesday. Lester will be evaluated Wednesday, but fantasy owners shouldn't expect him to make his next start Sunday. As with Baker, don't panic ... yet.

&#8226 Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Jeff Karstens is healthy and thriving. On Tuesday, he held the Houston Astros to one run in seven innings, earning his seventh win and lowering his ERA to 2.55. Karstens keeps allowing home runs and doesn't get strikeouts, but he's winning and his peripheral numbers are outstanding. He's owned in 37.9 percent of leagues.

&#8226 Colorado Rockies second baseman Mark Ellis continues to make friends with his new team after last week's trade; his three hits Tuesday gave him four multihit games and a .500 batting average in five games, with two home runs, seven RBIs and a stolen base. Ellis is available in most leagues. Add him while he's hot.

&#8226 Just when you're prepared to trust Cleveland Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco, he gets tuned up Tuesday by the New York Yankees for 10 hits and six runs in four innings. Carrasco had allowed four earned runs in his previous 36 2/3 innings. Hey, it's the Yankees. They hit. Carrasco doesn't have a lengthy track record, but let's chalk this up to a bad night.

&#8226 Seattle Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley homered and stole a base Tuesday. Ackley is hitting .300 after 15 games, a small sample size, but a good batting average was expected. Double-digit home runs and steals likely were not. Perhaps Ackley is even better than people thought; he's owned in 54.9 percent of leagues.