UP

Akinori Iwamura, 3B, Devil Rays: The former Japanese star has started his American career with a seven-game hitting streak and is hitting .458 overall. Iwamura's scored eight runs and stolen a couple bases also.

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Geoff Jenkins, OF, Brewers: He's 6-for-16 (.375) with three homers and six RBIs in his last four games. Jenkins has averaged over 24 home runs over the past four seasons but hit just 17 last year. He hit .133 against lefties in '06.

Ted Lilly, SP, Cubs: In his first two starts with Chicago, Lilly is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA. He's struck out 14 and walked just two while surrendering nine hits in 13 innings. Lilly signed a four-year, $40 million deal with the Cubs in the offseason after winning 15 games with the Blue Jays in '06.

DOWN

Alfonso Soriano, OF, Cubs: Baseball's biggest free-agent signee is off to a slow start in his new home. Soriano is batting .200 through eight games and has yet to homer or drive in a run. Soriano has also struck out seven times.

Lance Berkman, 1B, Astros: Houston's veteran first baseman has not been quick out of the gate, hitting .185 with one homer and three RBIs through eight games. No need to panic. Berkman has hit no worse than .288 in seven major league seasons. He hit .315 with 45 homers and 136 RBIs in '06.

Brad Lidge, RP, Astros: He lost the closer's job for the Astros after struggling in his first two appearances. Lidge blew his first save opportunity of the season against the Pirates, allowing a home run to Xavier Nady. He then gave up five runs (two earned) against the Cardinals in two-thirds of an inning.

Injury report

Eric Gagne is expected to take over the closer's role for the Rangers as soon as he returns from the DL Friday...Victor Martinez could return this weekend from a quad injury and isn't expected to go on the DL...Matt Kemp has been placed on the disabled list with a separated shoulder...Chris Carpenter has been placed on the DL with a right elbow injury...Mike Hampton is out for the year with a torn flexor tendon in his elbow...Rafael Furcal is expected to see his first action this Friday...Hideki Matsui is on the DL with a strained left hamstring...Hanley Ramirez is day-to-day with a hamstring injury...Arizona's Chris Young is day-to-day with a groin injury...Kevin Kouzmanoff is expected to miss a few games with an elbow injury.

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