Bits: Jair Jurrjens outduels Gallardo


Atlanta Braves right-hander Jair Jurrjens continues to impress, raising his record to 3-0 with a win Monday over the Milwaukee Brewers. Jurrjens tossed 7 2/3 innings of two-run ball, striking out four against no walks. Jurrjens, who missed the first two weeks because of an oblique injury, is showing off his terrific 2009 form.

Jurrjens topped Yovani Gallardo, who allowed five runs, nine hits and four walks in five runner-filled innings Monday. His ERA stands at a season-worst 6.10, and it has gone up in five consecutive outings. Given his decreased velocity, Gallardo might not be as attractive a buy-low option as most think, though I would still invest.

Oakland Athletics designated hitter Hideki Matsui smacked a game-winning home run in the 10th inning Monday. Matsui, a left-handed hitter, hit the homer off Texas Rangers left-hander Darren Oliver. It was Matsui's third home run, but he's hitting a disappointing .242, and this alone isn't reason to add him in standard leagues.

Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila slugged a pair of solo home runs in Monday's loss to the New York Yankees. It was Avila's fourth multi-RBI game in his past nine, and he's on pace for well over 100 RBIs. The pending return of Victor Martinez won't hurt Avila; both are everyday players. Avila remains available in 30 percent of leagues, but that number should be much lower.

Washington Nationals left-hander Tom Gorzelanny tossed eight shutout innings of three-hit ball against the San Francisco Giants on Monday to earn his first victory of the season, lowering his ERA to 2.93 and his WHIP to 0.93. Since a rough first outing, his ERA is 1.77, and this should interest those in deeper leagues.

Chicago White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle won his second game of the season, keeping the Baltimore Orioles scoreless over 6 2/3 innings, but those were messy shutout innings. Buehrle allowed eight hits and four walks, hardly inspiring confidence that he's back on track.