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This week in fantasy baseball


The injury news - good and bad - keeps piling up for the Orioles with Luis Matos back in the lineup, Javy Lopez close to returning, B.J. Surhoff going on the DL and Melvin Mora out for more than a few days with a hamstring injury.

Mora strained his hamstring in the eighth inning of Tuesday's win against the Blue Jays, an injury that should sideline him until next week but won't send him to the DL - yet. The Orioles thought they had a similar situation with B.J. Surhoff's rib cage injury, but he never got better, sending him to the DL and opening up a temporary spot for David Newhan.

Surhoff is out until at least July 5, but with Matos playing just about every day, and Larry Bigbie and Eli Marrero swinging hot bats, Newhan doesn't figure to play very often. He could see some time at third in place of Mora, but Chris Gomez is the more likely choice there.

Matos returned ahead of schedule but is safe to play in all AL leagues. He'll bat in the second spot in the lineup as long as Mora is out, hit for a good average and steal bases. Word is Lopez is also progressing well in his rehabilitation from a broken hand and could be back before the All-Star break.

And now a look around the rest of the majors:

Who's hot

Mark Teixeira, Rangers: Batting .303 with seven HRs, 22 RBIs inn June. Please, people, do not let Tino Martinez start the All-Star Game.

Andruw Jones, Braves: The kids are all right, but this veteran has nine of Atlanta's 28 home runs this month.

Placido Polanco, Tigers: Tearing it up in Tiger-town, batting .441 this month with three home runs, 14 RBIs. You've got to wonder why the Phillies couldn't keep his bat in their lineup.

Bill Hall, Brewers: The Milwaukee infield of the future - Hall and Rickie Weeks - has arrived, and Hall (.312, 6 HRs this month) is setting the pace at the plate.

Chris Carpenter, Cardinals: When involved in a 'Who should start the All-Star Game' debate, don't forget this guy, who's 10-4 with a 101 strikeouts, a 3.01 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.

Who's not

Carlos Beltran, Mets: Batting .268 with eight HRs, 35 RBIs - more or less the same numbers as Rafael Palmeiro. Makes you wonder what all the fuss was about.

Corey Patterson, Cubs: While Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez do all the work, Patterson has hit the skids - and little else. He last homered on May 27 and is batting .188 in June.

Chan Ho Park, Rangers: How is it that this guy has an ERA four times higher than that of Roger Clemens (6.05 to 1.51), but has one more win (7 to 6)? On the plus side, he's 2-for-2 at the plate.

Guillermo Mota, Marlins: Former closer has fallen out of favor in the Florida bullpen, where he's been demoted to setup man. A change of scenery would do him some good.

Jose Cruz Jr., Diamondbacks: Batting .200 with 14 RBIs in 35 games since coming off the disabled list last month, .148 in June. Fielding has been an adventure, too.

This weekend's matchups


Baltimore at Atlanta

Toronto at Washington

Boston at Philadelphia

New York Mets at New York Yankees

Florida at Tampa Bay

Chicago Cubs at Chicago White Sox

Minnesota at Milwaukee

Cincinnati at Cleveland

Colorado at Kansas City

Detroit at Arizona

Texas at Houston

Seattle at San Diego

Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels

San Francisco at Oakland

National League

Pittsburgh at St. Louis

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