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Bits: Vicente Padilla notches first save

4/28/2011

Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Vicente Padilla notched his first save since 2000 with a scoreless 10th inning Wednesday. With incumbent closer Jonathan Broxton hurting, physically and statistically, Padilla retired the Florida Marlins in order on 10 pitches. Manager Don Mattingly might give Broxton and his 4.35 ERA more chances ... but then again, he might not.

If you haven't cut Washington Nationals left-hander Sean Burnett yet, Wednesday's ugly outing should convince you. Pitching for the third consecutive game, Burnett was bestowed a save chance and blew it, allowing four ninth-inning runs while getting two outs. Drew Storen's role as closer has to be more secure now.

It's getting tough to ignore St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Kyle Lohse after he tossed seven shutout innings at the Houston Astros Wednesday, allowing four hits and lowering his ERA to 1.64. Lohse's career ERA is 4.79. With improved location, a better ground ball rate and few walks, ride Lohse while he's hot.

Bartolo Colon is even more surprising, since he's five years older than Lohse and didn't pitch last season. Colon tossed eight innings of one-run ball against the Chicago White Sox Wednesday, fanning six and lowering his ERA to 2.77. With Phil Hughes looking miles away from a return, Colon's rotation spot seems secure.

Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander James McDonald allowed four hits and no runs in six innings Wednesday, his first favorable outing. McDonald, a popular sleeper due to his 3.52 ERA and strong strikeout rate in 11 starts with the Pirates last season, lowered his ERA from 10.13 to 7.66. Fantasy owners need to see considerably more before investing.

Then there's Minnesota Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano, pounded by the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday for six hits, four walks and seven earned runs in only three innings. Liriano won his previous start, but five walks hid the truth. It's best to sit Liriano, owned in 95.6 percent of leagues, until further notice.