Box Score Bits: Oswalt gets run support

Box Score Bits

Get your brief daily look at the previous day's box scores first thing every Monday through Friday.

Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt entered Wednesday receiving a league-low 2.1 runs per game, but then in Milwaukee his offense provided a 5-0 lead in the fifth inning. Oswalt pitched eight innings of four-hit, shutout ball to win his third game and lower his ERA to 2.35. Trade bait or not, he's pitching excellent ball.

• Meanwhile, the middle of the Astros lineup combined for eight hits and knocked in four of the team's five runs. Struggling first baseman Lance Berkman hit fifth for the first time this year and delivered three singles. Hunter Pence singled, doubled, stole a base and scored two runs. His batting average is a season-best .257. Carlos Lee singled twice and knocked in two runs. Things likely will keep improving for all three hitters.

Boston Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre enjoyed a monster Wednesday against Tampa Bay, hitting two home runs, a triple and knocking in six runs in an 11-3 win. Beltre, now third in the AL in hitting at .341, remains available in 4.6 percent of ESPN standard mixed leagues.

It's time for deep-league owners to look at Seattle Mariners designated hitter Mike Sweeney, after he smacked his sixth home run of the season Wednesday. Sweeney is hitting .309 and slugging .603, and he has 10 hits in his past 15 at-bats, raising his batting average 89 points.

Cincinnati Reds right-hander Bronson Arroyo continued his underrated work, tossing 7 2/3 shutout innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday. Arroyo's ERA remains an inflated 4.30, but his 1.22 WHIP is a sign that he has deserved a better fate, and he has won five consecutive decisions. He's owned in about half of ESPN's leagues.

Colorado Rockies outfielder Seth Smith hit a pair of home runs Wednesday to back the great Ubaldo Jimenez; Smith has seven long balls on the year. With Dexter Fowler hitting .221 with four RBIs all season, Smith should play more. The career .285 hitter with pop is available in 99 percent of mixed leagues.