Carlos Santana went 1-for-2 with a two-run homer and two walks Friday against the Yankees. The switch-hitting slugger snapped a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning with his 12th homer of the year and his second of June. Santana's gotten off to a solid start this month by hitting safely in five of six games thus far, bringing his average to a healthy .286. After batting a career-low .229 last year, Santana's average is easily the highest of his career and well above his lifetime .248 mark. While some regression should be expected for the 33-year-old, he's already halfway to last year's homer total and should continue being a strong source of power and walks in the heart of Cleveland's lineup.
Zach Plesac earned his first career victory on Friday after tossing seven innings of two-run ball against the Yankees at Progressive Field, allowing six hits and one walk while striking out five. It looked like Plesac was going to have trouble with New York when he fell into a 2-0 hole after three innings, but he settled down and kept them off the board while Cleveland's bats rallied. The third time was the charm for the 24-year-old rookie, who received a loss and a no-decision in his previous two outings despite allowing just one earned run in both starts. The 111 pitches were a career high for Plesac, who has shown good command thus far with a 14:3 K/BB ratio over 19 1/3 innings. The future appears bright for the young righty, who is the son of former big leaguer Dan Plesac.
Gerrit Cole racked up 14 strikeouts over seven innings vs. the Orioles on Friday, but still wound up with a no-decision despite yielding just one earned run. Cole only gave up four hits and didn't walk anyone, but did allow two unearned runs. The 14 strikeouts were a season high for Cole, who's reached double digits in seven of his 14 starts. Despite his dominance, he still has a 3.72 ERA after enduring a couple rough starts earlier in the year. He's been hurt by 15 homers as well, which account for 23 percent of his hits allowed. So despite leading the majors in K/9 rate for the second year in a row, Cole must do a better job keeping the ball in the yard to be a true ace.
Kevin Kiermaier went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs against the Red Sox on Friday. Kiermaier powered Tampa Bay to a 5-1 victory at Fenway Park, which he capped with his seventh home run of the year in the ninth inning. Five of those long balls have come in the last 16 games for Kiermaier, who's batting .328 with 14 RBIs during that span. He has been an inconsistent hitter throughout his career but has bounced back nicely from a down 2018 in which his OPS was just .653. With seven homers, 10 steals and a .770 OPS, he is worth owning in most fantasy formats.
Marcus Semien slugged two homers and knocked in four runs while going 4-for-5 on Friday, scoring three runs in Oakland's 5-3 win over Texas. Semien enjoyed his first multi-homer game and four-hit performance of the season, giving him nine dingers overall and four in his last nine games. He's also tallied nine hits over his last four games, raising his average from .253 to .270. Semien currently leads the majors in games and plate appearances, which has helped him rack up 41 runs and 32 RBIs in addition to his nine homers and five steals. His .786 OPS is a career high as well, making him a must-start fantasy option.
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