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Luis Valbuena went 2-for-4 with a pair of home runs and three total RBI in Thursday's 8-5 win over the Blue Jays.

Valbuena connected for his first home run of the game (a two-run shot) off of John Axford with two outs in the fifth inning. He would follow that up with a solo home run to lead off the seventh inning. This was the veteran infielder's second two-homer game of the year and his first contest with a long ball since May 29. He's up to eight dingers on the season. While Valbuena does have a decent little bit of pop -- he's cracked double-digit home runs in each of the past five seasons -- there's just not enough to cling to for consistent fantasy work. He is slashing .222/.271/.369 in 65 games this year.
Jun 22 - 1:47 AM

Kendrys Morales went 2-for-3 with a solo home run, a double, a walk and two runs scored in Thursday's loss to the Angels.

Morales cranked out a solo home run with one out in the eighth inning. That tater drew the Blue Jays to within 8-5, but they would be unable to come up with further rally magic before the end of the game. The veteran slugger has now homered in back-to-back contests to give him seven total long balls on the year. He has also turned in multi-hit efforts in three of his last four games. While he's still hitting a cool .239/.300/.408 for the season as a whole, he's played much better of late and is starting to show out consistently enough that the buy-low window for fantasy purposes might be in the process of shutting.
Jun 22 - 1:39 AM

Lourdes Gurriel went 2-for-4 with a solo home run, two runs scored and two strikeouts in Thursday's loss to the Angels.

Gurriel launched a solo home run with one out in the seventh inning, his third long ball of the campaign. Over the course of two stints with the big league club this season, the 24-year-old infielder has collected 16 hits in 72 at-bats, which works out to a meager .222 average. There is no fantasy intrigue, here, and we could potentially see Gurriel sent down on Friday, when Sam Gaviglio returns from his paternity leave.
Jun 22 - 1:31 AM

John Lamb surrendered three runs on six hits over 3 1/3 innings in Thursday's win over the Blue Jays.

Lamb struck out four and walked one in the relatively short outing. He threw 76 pitches (52 strikes) before taking leave of the contest with one out in the fourth inning. Runs scored on his watch in each of the second, third and fourth frames. This was his second consecutive start since the Angels purchased his contract from Triple-A earlier this month. In those two outings, he has allowed a combined five runs on nine hits over 8 1/3 innings while posting a 9/2 K/BB ratio. Those numbers aren't exactly sturdy, but given the attrition being faced by the Halos in the rotation, they're serviceable enough. He's probably going to continue to draw starts for the foreseeable future, at least until he starts getting hit harder.
Jun 22 - 1:24 AM

Pitching in relief of an injured Aaron Sanchez (finger), Joe Biagini tossed two scoreless innings while allowing two hits in Thursday's loss to the Angels.

Sanchez managed just one inning -- he gave up two runs in that space -- before being forced out with what's being termed a right index finger contusion. Biagini entered to open the second frame. Matters could have spun out of control on him, with the Angels putting a pair of runners on with one out, but he locked in to strike out Ian Kinsler and induce a groundout from Mike Trout to end that early threat. He handled the third inning without issue before handing off the bullpen baton to John Axford. Biagini has pitched to a distressing 7.39 ERA and 1.86 WHIP in 31 2/3 innings this season, but that said, he has made four starts to date and figures to be one option for manager John Gibbons to consider should Sanchez be forced to miss extended time.
Jun 22 - 1:23 AM

Eric Thames went 2-for-5 with a three-run triple and two runs scored as the Brewers pounded the Cardinals 11-3 on Thursday.

Thames' big blow, which came well after the bell would have sounded to stop the fight, was indicative of the night as a whole -- a Brewers batter hit the ball, and a Cardinals fielder wasn't able to make the play. This one came in the seventh inning as Thames drove a John Gant pitch to deep center that Tommy Pham was only able to knock down to keep it from being a grand slam, instead providing Thames his first triple of the year. After a long layoff due to a UCL tear in his left thumb, Thames is back and is hitting .233/.330/.589 with nine homers, 20 RBI and 16 runs scored in 30 games played this year.
Jun 22 - 1:18 AM

Yairo Munoz went 3-for-4 with two RBI in a loss to the Brewers on Thursday.

Munoz was one of the few Cardinals able to get anything going against Brent Suter and company, as he swatted an RBI double in the fifth inning before lining a run-scoring single to center in the ninth. The 23-year-old has filled in admirably for the injured Paul DeJong at shortstop for the Cards, batting .288/.333/.396 in 40 games, but when DeJong returns it's likely Munoz gets relegated to a bench role or, at the very least, gets moved to a new home on the infield.
Jun 22 - 1:12 AM

Mark Melancon recorded his first save of the season in Thursday's win over the Padres, tossing a scoreless ninth inning while allowing one hit.

The Giants held a 3-0 lead after posting a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning, certainly a welcome bit of breathing room for Melancon when he trotted out to open the top of the ninth. That frame began in wobbly fashion -- he surrendered a leadoff single to Hunter Renfroe -- before he settled in to shut the door. This was just the veteran reliever's eighth appearance of the season, as he missed the first two months of the season battling a forearm injury. With Hunter Strickland (hand) expected to be sidelined for the next 6-8 weeks, Melancon will be in the mix for saves along with Tony Watson and Sam Dyson moving forward.
Jun 22 - 1:10 AM
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