Bits: James Shields extends strong start


&#8226 Tampa Bay Rays right-hander James Shields went the distance to beat the Chicago White Sox Tuesday, allowing four hits and a run while striking out nine. Shields boasts a 3.07 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, which would be career bests, and after his first complete game in nearly two years, his 2010 struggles seem far away.

&#8226 Colorado Rockies right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez came off the disabled list Tuesday and allowed four first-inning runs to the San Francisco Giants, including a Pablo Sandoval three-run home run. Jimenez settled down afterward, striking out six in five innings, and he remains someone to target in all fantasy formats.

&#8226 Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Ryan Roberts homered twice, knocked in three runs and even stole a base Tuesday, raising his batting average to .382. Roberts should qualify at third base in ESPN leagues soon, and if Roberts keeps hitting, he'll earn regular at-bats. Roberts could reach double digits in homers and steals.

&#8226 Houston Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez entered Tuesday's game struggling, but it didn't show against the New York Mets. Rodriguez tossed seven strong innings of three-hit, one-run ball, lowering his ERA to 5.48. Rodriguez is among the most-dropped pitchers, but he shouldn't be. Invest and be patient.

&#8226 Los Angeles Angels outfielder Peter Bourjos homered among his four hits Tuesday, had four RBIs and scored three runs in a blowout win at Texas. Bourjos entered play hitting .245 and striking out in nearly a third of his at-bats, but now his numbers look much better. He possesses power and speed, and those in deep leagues should be intrigued.

&#8226 Still don't believe in Bruce Chen? The Kansas City Royals journeyman lefty continues to impress, winning his third consecutive start Tuesday. Chen allowed two runs in seven innings, so his ERA actually went up a bit to 2.42. While fantasy owners seem skeptical -- he's owned in 12.5 percent of leagues -- they should enjoy this while it lasts.