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Date: Team: Pos:

Jon Lester tossed eight strong outings, allowing just one run and striking out nine, in defeating the White Sox on Thursday.

Lester cost himself in the sixth, when he was too slow to get over to first base on Adam Eaton's run-scoring infield single, and again in the seventh, when he failed to handle a pretty easy comebacker. But fielding issues aside -- and his awkward throws to first likely will lose him a game at some point -- he's been outstanding on the mound. He's currently sporting a 29/4 K/BB ratio in 29 innings and a 2.03 ERA. Next up for him is his second start of the month against the Yankees.
Apr 18 - 12:14 AM

Koji Uehara earned a save with a scoreless ninth in his return to the mound Thursday against the White Sox.

Uehara showed his usual velocity in his return from a sore shoulder, but he did give up a single and miss up with a couple of splitters to a dangerous hitter in Jose Abreu with two outs. Fortunately, Abreu didn't take a cut at either of those before grounding out on a better offering. In all, Uehara threw 13 pitches. The Red Sox will likely be especially careful with him for the next few weeks, so if they have another save situation on Friday, we imagine it will go to Edward Mujica.
Apr 18 - 12:11 AM

Chris Sale wasn't involved in the decision after allowing one run in seven innings and striking out 10 against the Red Sox on Thursday.

Sale was dominant for the most part, with the Red Sox crushing two of his very few mistakes. Fortunately, the first didn't hurt him, as Adam Eaton robbed David Ortiz of a homer in the first. The other did, though, as Xander Bogaerts was able to hit one out to left in the sixth. It was the first homer allowed by Sale in four starts this season.
Apr 18 - 12:06 AM

Xander Bogaerts hit his first homer of the year to give the Red Sox their lone run in seven innings against Chris Sale on Thursday.

Bogaerts doesn't yet have consistent major league power at age 21, but he does show glimpses and it's only a matter of time until he's a 20- or 25-homer guy. For this year, expect more modest numbers. That he's worth owning in mixed leagues anyway owes much to Fenway and the surrounding members of Boston's lineup (even if the group is off to a slow start).
Apr 18 - 12:02 AM

Making just his second start of the season, Paul Konerko went 0-for-4 on Thursday, leaving him 1-for-13.

With Adam Dunn and Jose Abreu off to such nice starts, the White Sox haven't found much for Konerko to do yet. Fortunately, that seems to be OK with him, though he'd surely prefer to better capitalize on what chances he does get.
Apr 17 - 11:58 PM

James Shields fanned 12 while surrendering just one run in eight innings to beat the Astros for his first win of the year on Thursday.

It was Shields' seventh career 12-strikeout game, but his first since he joined the Royals a year ago; his season high last year was 10 strikeouts. Feldman gave up six unearned runs in his last start against the Twins, but outside of the one bad inning when all of them scored, he's been excellent through four starts, amassing a 2.00 ERA and a 26/6 K/BB ratio.
Apr 17 - 11:53 PM

Scott Feldman surrendered five runs -- four earned -- over six innings in a loss to the Royals on Thursday.

It was Feldman's first defeat in four starts for the Astros. He still has an exceptional 1.69 ERA, even though he has just as many walks (nine) as strikeouts through 26 2/3 innings.
Apr 17 - 11:50 PM

Norichika Aoki collected two hits, his second steal and two runs scored Thursday against the Astros.

Aoki had Wednesday off, but he probably won't be sitting very often with Lorenzo Cain out for at least the next couple of weeks. He'll start being more useful in fantasy leagues once some of the guys behind him in the Royals lineup start clicking.
Apr 17 - 11:48 PM

Dropped from the cleanup spot for the first time this season, Billy Butler went 1-for-3 with a walk Thursday against the Astros.

The move was overdue. It's not as if Butler was having a run-of-the-mill slump with his .149 average and no extra-base hits in 47 at-bats; his swing is so messed up that he hasn't been able to hit the ball in the air at all so far this season. The Royals should keep him in the lineup, for sure, but it's much better to give Salvador Perez a crack at the cleanup spot than to let Butler continue to kill rallies while's he's struggling.
Apr 17 - 11:44 PM

Royals placed OF Jarrod Dyson on the bereavement list.

Dyson is permitted to be away from the club for 3-7 games. It's bad timing, given that he was in line for more playing time with Lorenzo Cain (hamstring) out. Justin Maxwell figures to handle center field for the Royals for now. They'll make a corresponding move prior to Friday's game.
Apr 17 - 11:42 PM

Dexter Fowler continued to slump on Thursday, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts against the Royals.

Fowler opened the season 6-for-12 with four extra-base hits in three games, but since returning from a brief illness on April 8, he's 3-for-36 with one extra-base hit and 11 strikeouts. The Astros could consider taking him out of the leadoff spot for a bit, but they really don't have anyone to replace him there with Jonathan Villar and Alex Presley also scuffling.
Apr 17 - 11:37 PM

Chris Colabello went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI as the Twins came from behind to beat the Blue Jays 9-5 in the second game of Thursday's doubleheader.

Twins hitters walked eight times in a six-run eighth to take the lead, and Glen Perkins finished off the doubleheader sweep from there. Colabello went 5-for-7 with four RBI on the day. He has just one homer in 53 at-bats, which is a modest surprise, but he's driven in an AL-leading 19 runs.
Apr 17 - 11:31 PM

Mike Pelfrey gave up five runs -- four earned -- in 4 1/3 innings Thursday in a no-decision versus the Blue Jays.

Pelfrey showed better stuff this spring than he did at any point during 2013, but it hasn't translated into regular-season results; he's given up 13 earned runs and walked 12 over 14 2/3 innings in his three starts. As limited as his upside is, the Twins should go ahead and send him to the pen if he doesn't rebound in his next couple of starts.
Apr 17 - 11:29 PM

Dustin McGowan yielded three runs in four innings Thursday in a no-decision against the Twins.

McGowan walked four tonight. He was terrific against the Orioles last week, but he's been ineffective in his other two starts to date. Given the likelihood of an injury down the line, he doesn't have much value in AL-only leagues.
Apr 17 - 11:26 PM

Sergio Santos completely lost the strike zone after taking over in the eighth inning on Thursday, walking all three Twins he faced and taking his first blown save.

Unfortunately, the Blue Jays had already run through all of their decent bullpen options when Santos imploded. As a result, J.A. Happ was brought in to try to stop the bleeding, yet he only made it worse, walking three batters of his own in what ended up being a six-run inning. Santos, for his part, never walked in a run. Instead, he threw three run-scoring wild pitches, which is a pretty amazing feat. Just four of his 16 pitches were strikes. Santos entered the game 4-for-4 in save chances and with three walks on the season, none in his last three appearances. Hopefully, this was just one big fluke. If not, then the Blue Jays will be forced to go to Steve Delabar and Aaron Loup in save chances.
Apr 17 - 11:24 PM



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