Updated: June 18, 2008, 3:07 PM ET

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AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Since May 1, Jason Giambi is hitting .333 with 12 homers and 27 RBIs.

Giambi's comeback no fluke
Dismissed by many as slowly taking the Richie Sexson path to fantasy irrelevance, Jason Giambi continues to prove the doubters wrong this season.

The Yankees first baseman cranked out two more homers on Tuesday night, giving him 17 on the year, tied with Grady Sizmore for second in the American League behind Josh Hamilton.

Considering that Giambi hit just .236 with 14 homers in an injury-plagued 2007, his third straight season of decline in his batting average, you can be forgiven for thinking he was toast when he started this season by batting .164 in April.

However, Giambi hit .315 with six homers in May, and is batting .364 with six more homers already this month to bring his average up to .268 with more walks than strikeouts this season. He's posting his highest slugging percentage since his first season with the Yankees in 2002.

Can he keep it up? If he stays healthy, there aren't a lot of red flags in his numbers. Giambi is striking out at his lowest rate in more than a decade, and his balls in play average indicates that his batting average still has some slight upward potential.

His homers per flyball is right back around his career average after a sharp dip last season, and his raw power appears to be as good as it's been since joining the Yankees. He's pouncing on mistake pitches like he used to.

The bottom line is that Giambi's resurgence is for real, and he can be expected to keep on producing at a solid rate.

Box Score Bits
Jose Reyes left Tuesday's game in the first inning with what was diagnosed as a stiff left hamstring, but could be back in the lineup on Wednesday according to the Associated Press. He was seen arguing with new Mets manager Jerry Manuel to be allowed to remain in the game, so it appears fantasy owners dodged a bullet. ... John Lackey out-dueled Johan Santana to lower his ERA to 1.73 on the year, showing no ill effects of his early-season triceps injury. ... Felix Hernandez's scoreless-innings streak ended at 22, but he still threw a quality start to pick up the win, including striking out the side on nine pitches in the fourth. Brandon Morrow shut the door for the save, topping out at 99 mph. Morrow has struck out eight of the past nine batters he has faced and is absolutely filthy at the moment. ... It wasn't as spectacular as Jay Bruce's debut, but Chase Headley went 2-for-4 in his first major league game -- at Yankee Stadium, no less. Headley played left field there, but in a strange twist, he could back at his natural position of third base on Wednesday, as Kevin Kouzmanoff injured his back before Tuesday's game. ... Ride the hot hand while you can, as Marcus Thames homered in his fifth straight game for the Tigers, giving him six total in that span and eight this month. ... Ian Snell got blasted yet again, giving up seven runs in four innings, while walking six with no strikeouts. He needed 106 pitches just to get through four. He's not pitching with any confidence and isn't challenging hitters, especially inside. Snell is not deployable in any format at the moment and should be dropped in mixed leagues. ... Brandon Webb didn't have any command on Tuesday, getting knocked around by the A's. His velocity was fine, but he walked a season-high five. It should just be a momentary blip on the radar. Brandon Lyon's scoreless-innings streak ended at 25 in mop-up duty. Justin Duchscherer was on the winning side of the ledger in this game with another stellar outing, but felt a twinge in his surgically repaired hip swinging the bat, and was told not to offer at any more pitches for the rest of the game, lest yet another AL hurler get hurt on offense in interleague play. It is worth noting that Duchscherer may not keep this up over 200 innings, with his hip surgery last year, and the fact that stamina may come into play, given that he hasn't been a full-time starter in five seasons. ... John Lannan continues to be quietly effective, throwing his fourth straight quality start and dropping his ERA to 3.36 on the season. He's owned in less than 10 percent of ESPN leagues, and has thrown a quality start in 10 of his 14 outings this year. ... Brad Hawpe continues to get his season back on track, homering for the fifth time in 11 games since returning from the disabled list. ... Milton Bradley left Tuesday's game with a slightly strained quad muscle, but it doesn't appear serious, and he may only miss a game or two. ... Kyle Davies allowed just one run for his fourth straight outing since retuning to the big leagues. Is he the 2008 version of Jeremy Guthrie, as a once highly regarded pitcher finally reaching his potential? It's tough to say that, given that he's walking as many batters as he's striking out. ... Manny Parra threw seven shutout innings and is slowly starting to find some consistency, with five solid outings in his last seven starts. ... Scott Kazmir threw 110 pitches, yet still couldn't get out of the fifth inning. He did allow just one run, though, so you can't argue with the results on a night when Kazmir didn't have his best stuff. ... The Yankees knocked around Randy Wolf, and the lesson here is not to trust Wolf at all away from Petco Park (5.84 ERA on the road.) ... Jon Lester threw seven shutout innings, and has been pretty untouchable in his past three starts to lower his season ERA to 3.18. He hasn't given up more than three runs in a game in his last 10 trips to the mound. ... Coco Crisp is making the most of his extended playing time, homering in his third straight contest and also stealing two bases. ... After an off day to rest, George Sherrill, who said his arm needed the break, recorded the save on Tuesday after blowing his last opportunity. ... Melvin Mora went 1-for-5 with a two-run double as he returned to the starting lineup following a knee injury. ... Johnny Cueto bounced back from walking eight batters in his previous outing by allowing two runs in seven innings, but he's still going to be inconsistent going forward.



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Standing Out

Ryan Braun, Brewers
He joined Chase Utley and Dan Uggla in the 20-homer club after going deep twice against the Blue Jays. All-Star Game voters have noticed, as he's now fourth in balloting among NL outfielders.

Justin Upton, Diamondbacks
With an 0-for-3, two-strikeout night against the A's, Upton is now down to .244 for the season. He's been miserable in June, hitting just .083 (3-for-36) with 18 strikeouts.
News and Notes

Kevin Youkilis is not expected to return to the Red Sox lineup until Friday due to back spasms. He'll be rested Wednesday to take advantage of the Thursday off day. ... Having missed five games with a strained rotator cuff, J.J. Hardy is expected to be back in the lineup on Wednesday. ... Travis Hafner's shoulder is not responding well to strengthening exercises, so he is headed to Dr. James Andrews for another opinion, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Surgery has not been ruled out just yet. ... Hiroki Kuroda will miss his scheduled start on Wednesday due to pain in his shoulder, and could be out longer than just one turn. Derek Lowe will move up a day to replace him. ... Aaron Hill, out with lingering issues from a concussion, is still at least 10 days away from beginning a rehab assignment, according to the team Web site. Meanwhile, Ryan Church hopes to be return to the lineup from his concussion problems on June 23 if all goes well, according to the New York Daily News. ... Jeff Clement is expected to start almost every day for the Mariners at catcher, with Kenji Johjima seeing more time at DH. ... Fausto Carmona's rehab has been put on hold after he experienced soreness in his hip after a three-inning simulated game on Monday. ... Homer Bailey, whose velocity has dropped 3-4 mph since coming up from Triple-A, may not make his next start this weekend, and could be bumped from the rotation. ... Hank Blalock, out with a wrist injury, is expected to begin a rehab assignment on Friday and join the active roster next Tuesday. ... Anthony Reyes will make at least one spot start for the Cardinals on Thursday, as Todd Wellemeyer will be skipped in the rotation due to a sore elbow.
They Wrote It

"[H]ere's an intriguing thought (and it's nothing but speculation): For the same reason that the Red Sox might be the best-positioned team to make a run at [C.C.] Sabathia, if they wanted to, Boston could be best positioned to make a short-term acquisition of [Mark] Teixeira."

-- Buster Olney Full Story


Paul Konerko went on the disabled list for the first time in his career due to a strained oblique muscle and should be out about three weeks. The White Sox called up DeWayne Wise, who will be part of a time-share in center field, with Nick Swisher moving to first base in the interim. Brian Anderson and Alexei Ramirez will also see time in center.

• The Red Sox placed Bartolo Colon on the disabled list with back stiffness. They summoned reliever Chris Smith from Triple-A temporarily. Daisuke Matsuzaka will be ready to go when it is Colon's next turn, and Justin Masterson will remain in the rotation for at least a few more starts.

• The Cubs swapped fourth outfielders, as they called up Matt Murton and sent Eric Patterson back to Triple-A.

• The Nationals activated Paul Lo Duca from the disabled list, but Jesus Flores will still be the starting catcher. Lo Duca will see time behind the plate, at first, and in left field to get his bat into the lineup.

• The Dodgers placed Brad Penny on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, and Eric Stults will take his place in the rotation. Stults is likely going to have little fantasy value.

On the Farm

• Knuckleballer Charlie Zink just keeps on rolling at Triple-A for the Red Sox. He allowed one run on just four hits in seven innings on Tuesday night to drop his season ERA to 2.14. He's allowed one run or less in six of his past seven starts, and has walked just three batters total in his last three outings. Though there is no opening at the big league level right now, Zink has put himself in consideration for a callup later this season. You always have to pull for the knuckleballers.

Troy Tulowitzki went 2-for-4 with a double and had no issues playing shortstop in his first rehab game at Triple-A on Tuesday. He's on track to return to the Rockies on Friday.

Jeff Keppinger went 2-for-5 with a homer in his rehab game at Triple-A, but has yet to test his kneecap in the field. He's been a DH for all six of his rehab appearances thus far, and is still at least a week away from returning due to not being able to play the field.