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Bits: Michael Pineda, Alexi Ogando duel

4/6/2011

Seattle Mariners right-hander Michael Pineda allowed three runs in six innings in his major league debut Tuesday, keeping the powerful Texas Rangers relatively in check in their ballpark. Pineda, 22, might not win much because of the team he plays for, but he's a strikeout option and a future ace.

Pineda was outdueled by Rangers right-hander Alexi Ogando, who permitted two hits over six scoreless innings in his first big league start. Ogando, who fashioned a 1.30 ERA in 44 relief outings last season, is owned in only 4.2 percent of ESPN standard leagues, but that should rise quickly.

San Diego Padres right-hander Aaron Harang, trying to salvage his career at age 32, tossed six innings of one-run ball to beat the San Francisco Giants Tuesday. Harang should provide useful statistics at Petco Park, and next up for him is another home game, Sunday against the Dodgers.

Colorado Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin shut down Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers for seven shutout innings Tuesday. Chacin registered more strikeouts than innings pitched at 22 last season, struggling at times with control, but the upside is appealing. He's scheduled to face the Pirates next.

Florida Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison homered Tuesday, his second of the young season. Already an on-base machine, Morrison would have been far more popular in fantasy drafts if owners thought he had immediate power potential; he's already matched his 2010 home run total, accomplished in 244 at-bats.

Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar smacked a game-winning home run in the 10th inning Tuesday, and like Morrison, fantasy owners weren't expecting much power. Escobar hit four home runs in 135 games last season. A somewhat overlooked 23rd-round pick in ESPN average live drafts, Escobar could surprise playing for team for which home-run hitting was contagious last season.