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Jose Valverde was handed his second blown save of the season on Saturday after allowing a two-run blast to Adam Dunn in the ninth inning.

After converting every opportunity he was given last season, Valverde has been unremarkable to begin 2012. He's already blown two saves and has given up eight runs on 14 hits in just 11 2/3 innings for a 6.17 ERA. His leash is as long as any closer in the league, but if he continues to struggle the Tigers may be better-served giving Joaquin Benoit or Octavio Dotel a chance.
Sat, May 5, 2012 07:07:00 PM

Carlos Ruiz closed out a great four-game series against the Dodgers by reaching base all five times up and cracking a game-winning, two-run double in the ninth off Brian Wilson in a 7-3 Thursday win.

Ruiz finished 3-for-3 with two walks, two doubles and two runs scored. The 35-year-old entered this series with an ugly .204/.328/.286 slash line, but went 7-for-14 with four walks, four doubles, one triple, one homer, five runs scored and four RBI as Philly took three of four in Los Angeles. By the way, it only took four games for Ruiz's slash line to blow up to .270/.395/.476.
Apr 25 - 1:52 AM

Josh Donaldson went 3-for-4 with two walks, a double, and two home runs as the Athletics routed the Astros 10-1 on Thursday.

A monster game for Donaldson, who broke out as one of baseball's best-hitting third basemen last season. He took a Brett Oberholtzer pitch out to the train tracks at Minute Maid Park for a two-run shot in the first inning, and then victimized Anthony Bass with a two-run blast in the seventh inning. Donaldson now has six home runs and a .910 OPS in 105 plate appearances.
Apr 25 - 12:08 AM

Scott Kazmir improved to 3-0 after allowing one run over six innings in Thursday's start against the Astros.

Kazmir had some first-inning control issues, but was otherwise sharp. The lefty allowed five hits, walked two, and struck out seven in the effort. He has a 1.62 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and has five quality starts in as many opportunities to start the season. Kazmir will face the Rangers in his next outing.
Apr 24 - 11:55 PM

Yoenis Cespedes has been diagnosed with a left hamstring strain.

Cespedes was injured when he reached on an infield single in the seventh inning of Thursday's game. He's expected to miss a few games, but it doesn't appear that the disabled list is under consideration at this point.
Apr 24 - 11:53 PM

Huston Street tossed a scoreless 12th inning to nail down his eighth save as the Padres defeated the Nationals 4-3 on Thursday.

Street was immediately in some hot water, as Bryce Harper led off the 12th inning with a double, but the right-hander was able to get a strikeout and a line drive double play to end the game. Street is now tied for second in baseball with eight saves and has a tidy 1.00 ERA and 11 strikeouts in nine innings.
Apr 24 - 11:46 PM

Seth Smith left Thursday's game versus the Nationals with a right groin strain.

Smith looked a little gimpy while running out a groundout in the 11th inning. The injury forced the Padres to briefly use Andrew Cashner in left field. Smith will likely be re-evaluated on Friday before the Padres determine how much time he might miss.
Apr 24 - 11:10 PM

Brett Gardner drew three walks, stole two bases, and scored four runs as the Yankees routed the Red Sox on Thursday.

Gardner didn't register a hit, but was a force on the base paths. He has yet to get started offensively with one month of the regular season nearly over, as he has a meager .641 OPS. Fortunately for the Yankees, they didn't need his bat to score 14 runs against the Red Sox. Also noteworthy, Gardner is 4-for-4 stealing bases on the season.
Apr 24 - 11:05 PM

David Lough collected three hits in four at-bats, walked, and stole two bases as the Orioles topped the Blue Jays on Thursday.

Lough hadn't done much of anything at the dish, but was a big factor in the Orioles' 11-run outburst against the Blue Jays. Acquired in the off-season in a trade with the Royals, Lough also crossed home plate three times and stole his third and fourth bases on the season.
Apr 24 - 10:05 PM

Chase Headley left Thursday's game against the Nationals with a right calf strain.

It's the same injury he dealt with for nearly a month during spring training. The severity of the strain isn't known yet, but it sure seems like something that will probably send him to the disabled list. Alexi Amarista took over at third base for Headley on Thursday.
Apr 24 - 7:51 PM

Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are eyeing next weekend as the return date for Manny Machado (knee).

Machado will begin a rehab assignment with High-A Frederick on Friday and the O's are expecting him to only need a week's worth of rehab games if all goes well. That would make May 2 as the target date for the third baseman. The Orioles figure to ease Machado in initially with a handful of off days early on, but he's someone fantasy owners are going to want to put back in their lineup immediately.
Apr 24 - 7:13 PM

Athletics manager Bob Melvin said Thursday that Jim Johnson could be back in the ninth inning mix along with Luke Gregerson and Sean Doolittle.

Johnson was stripped of his closer duties two weeks ago but has responded with 6 2/3 scoreless innings since then. Gregerson and Doolittle, meanwhile, have allowed a combined six runs over their last six appearances. Melvin also noted that while he likes the way Ryan Cook has pitched lately, Cook is expected to remain in a setup role for now.
Apr 24 - 6:45 PM




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