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Bulls trample Bucks on glass to take 2-0 series lead
Joakim Noah grabbed 19 rebounds, while his fellow starters Pau Gasol, Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, and Mike Dunleavy collected 16, nine, seven, and six boards respectively in the Bulls' 91-82 Game Two win over the Bucks. Chicago's total of 57 rebounds recorded by its starting lineup was the highest by any team in a playoff win since the Celtics' 59 in Game Five of the 1973 Eastern Conference Finals. In that game, a 98-97 home victory over New York, Boston's starting lineup consisted of Paul Silas (20 rebounds), Dave Cowens (16), Jo Jo White (14), Don Chaney (5), and Don Nelson (4).
Bucks already out of luck?
The Bucks, who now trail 0-2 in their series against the Bulls, have never won a seven-game series in the playoffs after losing the first two games; Milwaukee is 0-12 in that scenario. The silver lining is that the Bulls have once before blown a 2-0 lead - in 2005, the Wizards started their opening round series with two losses before winning four straight to eliminate Chicago.
Warriors sluggish early, recover late to defeat Pelicans
The Warriors trailed the Pelicans by 11 points at the end of the first quarter, but Golden State surged ahead before halftime and then pulled away in the fourth to win, 97-87. The victory for Golden State marked the second time in team history that the Warriors won a game by double-digits after being outscored by at least 10 points in the first quarter. In their playoff opener in 1972, Golden State overcame a 10-point first quarter deficit to stun the Bucks, 117-106, in Milwaukee. The Bucks then won the next four games to eliminate the Warriors.
Tigers are 11-2 after stifling Yankees bats
The Tigers scratched across two runs in the seventh inning against CC Sabathia and held on for a 2-1 win over the Yankees. The victory marked the sixth time in seven home games this season that Detroit allowed fewer than two runs. Only one team in the previous 80 seasons held its opponents to one run or fewer in at least six of their first seven home games. And that team was... the Tigers! Detroit began the 1999 season by allowing fewer than two runs in six of their first seven games at Tiger Stadium, and that included a three-game sweep of the defending champion Yankees, who scored exactly one run in each of their three losses.
Ellsbury sans RBI through 12 games
Jacoby Ellsbury, who grounded into a double play with runners at first and third to end the eighth inning, has the most plate appearances this season (59) by any major-league player who has not driven in a run. It's the most plate appearances into a season by a Yankees player without an RBI since 1991, when Jim Leyritz failed to knock in a run in his first 59 trips to the plate.
Bryant stars for Cubs in win
It didn't take long for Kris Bryant to show his potential as a cleanup hitter - the Cubs phenom went 3-for-4 at the plate while driving in three runs, all with two outs, as the Cubs defeated the Pirates, 5-2. Bryant, who now has four RBIs in his first four major-league games, is the first rookie since Freddie Freeman to start in the fourth slot of the lineup and record at least three hits and three two-out RBIs in a game. Freeman did so on June 10, 2011 for the Braves at Houston; he, like Bryant, had three hits and three RBIs with two outs.
The only other rookie third baseman in the last 50 years with at least three hits and three RBIs with two outs while batting out of the cleanup spot is Evan Longoria, who had three hits and four RBIs (including three with two outs) on September 18, 2009 for the Rays against the Twins.
Padres win big at Coors Field
The Padres scored five runs in the top of the first inning in their 14-3 victory at Coors Field. Prior to Monday, San Diego had failed to score at least five runs in the first inning in its last 883 games, dating back to 2009. That was over 500 games longer than the next active streak of that kind - the Rangers have not scored at least five runs in the opening frame in their last 344 games, dating back to September 2012.
The Padres padded their lead against the Rockies by scoring four runs in the second inning and another five runs in the fifth. The only other time in the last 12 seasons that San Diego scored at least four runs in three different innings in a game was on May 31, 2010 - the Padres had three such innings against the Mets in an 18-6 blowout. Each of the Padres' top three hitters in the lineup on Monday - Wil Myers, Derek Norris, and Matt Kemp - scored a run in each of those big innings, marking the first time in franchise history that San Diego's first three hitters in the lineup each scored at least three runs in the same game.
Late comeback for White Sox
The White Sox scored four runs in the ninth inning to overcome a 3-0 deficit and post a 4-3 win over the Indians. Monday's win marked the first time that the White Sox overcame a deficit of at least three runs to win in the ninth since April 6, 2005, which also came at the expense of the Indians. Just like on Monday, Cleveland carried a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth, only to see the ChiSox score four in the ninth to post a 4-3 win.
Cody Allen of the White Sox entered Monday's game to start the ninth, hoping to protect a 3-0 lead. Allen struck out the first batter he faced, but then he allowed a total of six hits and four runs without recording another out. Allen is the first pitcher to allow at least six hits and four runs while recording no more than one out in a save opportunity since Francisco Cordero of the Reds on July 17, 2008. Cordero entered a home game against the Mets to start the ninth inning with the Reds holding an 8-6 lead, and, like Allen, he struck out the first batter he faced. Cordero then yielded four runs on six hits without recording a second out, taking the loss in a 10-8 Mets win.
Vogt's hot start continues versus Angels
Stephen Vogt's three-run homer in the third inning gave the Athletics a lead they would not relinquish in their 6-3 victory over the Angels. Vogt, who has started 11 games at catcher this season, is batting .366 with 12 RBIs through his first 12 games. The last A's catcher before Vogt to record at least 12 RBIs in his first dozen games of a season while hitting at least .350 over that span is Jimmie Foxx, who in 1935 tallied 13 RBIs in his first 12 games while batting .391. Foxx started at catcher for all 12 of those games for the Philadelphia A's.
Masterson, Red Sox win on Patriots' Day
Justin Masterson allowed one run over five innings, which was enough to earn a win in a rain-shortened 7-1 Red Sox victory over the Orioles. This was the second Patriots' Day win for Masterson at Fenway Park - on April 20, 2009, Masterson earned a W for Boston after allowing a run in 5 1/3 innings, also against the Orioles. Masterson is the third pitcher in the last 40 years to win multiple starts on Patriots' Day for the Red Sox, joining Ferguson Jenkins (1976 and 1977) and Mike Torrez (1978 and 1981).
The Red Sox went ahead for good in the third inning, scoring four runs despite tallying only one hit - a single by Ryan Hanigan - thanks to four walks by Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen as well as two fielding errors by Baltimore. The last time before Monday that Boston scored at least four runs in an inning without an extra-base hit and no more than one single was on May 10, 2010 against the Blue Jays. After Toronto had scored four runs in the top of the second inning, the Red Sox responded with four runs of their own in the bottom half. David Ortiz's RBI-single was the only hit for Boston in the frame, though the Sox batted around thanks to six walks by Jays pitching.
Reds wake up with first big inning of season
The Reds broke up a scoreless tie with a four-run sixth inning in their 6-1 victory over the Brewers. The four runs, which equaled the team's run total from its last four games, are the most that Cincinnati has scored in an inning this season; the Reds had been one of five teams (along with the Brewers, Cardinals, Cubs, and Indians) that had not scored more than three runs in an inning. The last time before this year that the Reds had no innings with four or more runs scored in their first 12 games of a season was the 1964 campaign - Cincinnati recorded their first four-run frame in its 20th game of that season.
DeSclafani making great first impression in Cincy
Anthony DeSclafani pitched eight shutout innings Monday while allowing only two hits against the Brewers. DeSclafani, who was acquired from the Marlins in an offseason trade, has allowed only two earned runs and nine hits in 21 innings over his first three starts for the Reds, giving him an ERA of 0.86 for Cincinnati. Among pitchers who have joined the Reds since 1912 (which was the first year earned runs were officially compiled for the NL), only one other pitcher posted an ERA below 1.00 while allowing fewer than 10 hits in his first three starts for Cincinnati. Wayne Simpson, who made his MLB debut with Cincy in 1970, allowed only seven hits and one earned run in 25 innings in his first three career starts, good for an ERA of 0.36.
Triples trip continues for Orlando
Paulo Orlando tripled in two runs to close out the scoring for the Royals in their 7-1 victory over the Twins. That three-bagger marked the fifth triple for Orlando in the first seven games of his major league career. No other player to debut since 1900 has more than three triples in his first seven major-league games.
Not only is Orlando posting historic triples numbers to start a career, he is also putting up rare numbers to start a season. There are now only three instances in the modern era of a player recording five or more triples in his first seven games of a season - Orlando joined Emmet Heidrick of the Cardinals, who posted five triples in his first seven games in 1901, and Gil Coan of the Senators, who tallied five triples in his first seven games in 1951.
Comeback win is same old story for Ducks
The Anaheim Ducks took a three-games-to-none lead in their series against the Winnipeg Jets with a 5-4 overtime victory on Monday, and following a script identical to the one used in their wins in Games 1 and 2, the Ducks trailed going into the third period of this game as well. The Ducks are only the second team in NHL history to win three games in one series in which they trailed entering the third period. The other team to do that was the Bruins in their semi-final series against the Canadiens in 1943. Boston won Games 1, 3 and 5 of that series in that fashion, all in overtime.
Clean game for Wild
Devan Dubnyk recorded his first NHL playoff shutout with a 3-0 win that gives the Minnesota Wild a two-games-to-one lead in its series against the St. Louis Blues. The Wild kept a clean sheet in more ways than one in Monday's game, as Minnesota was not charged with any penalties. Over the last 25 years the only other time an NHL team posted a shutout victory in the playoffs while staying penalty free was when the Bruins beat the Lightning, 1-0, in Game 7 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Final. Tampa Bay also was not penalized in that game.
Girardi does it all for Rangers
Defenseman Dan Girardi played a major role at both ends of the ice for the Rangers in their 2-1 win in Game 3 of their series against the Penguins. Girardi assisted on both Rangers goals and he blocked a game-high total of six shots. He's the first Rangers player to register at least two points and six blocks in a playoff game since 2012, when Brad Richards (two assists, six blocked shots) did so in a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 4 of a first-round matchup against the Ottawa Senators. The last Rangers player before Girardi to do that in a non-overtime playoff game was defenseman Marek Malik, who tallied one goal, one assist and seven blocked shots in a 7-0 win by the Blueshirts in Game 3 of a first-round series versus the Atlanta Thrashers in 2007.