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DEFINITION OF TURNAROUND, BY THE NUMBERS
Since San Antonio took a 65-45 lead with 5:54 to play in the third quarter of Game 1, the Lakers have outscored the Spurs, 145-91.
K-ROD POSTS #20 IN GAME #50
Francisco Rodriguez recorded his 20th save of the season in the Angels' 3-1 win over the White Sox. It was the Angels' 50th game this season. Only four other pitchers reached the 20-save mark in their team's first 50 games, the most recent being Danny Graves of the Reds (42nd game) and Armando Benitez of the Marlins (50th) in 2004.
VALVERDE GETS HIT BUT GETS THE SAVE
Jose Valverde allowed two runs in the ninth inning, but earned his 15th save in the Astros' 4-3 win over the Phillies. It was the 10th time this season that a pitcher recorded a save despite allowing two or more runs. Valverde had two other such saves in his career, two days apart in 2006 (May 22-24).
ICHIRO CAUGHT LOOKING TWICE BY PETTITTE
Ichiro Suzuki took called third strikes from Andy Pettitte in the first and second innings in the Mariners' loss. It was the fifth time in Ichiro's career that he was called out on strikes twice in the same game, but it was only the second time that both strikeouts were against the same pitcher. The first was against Tim Hudson on September 19, 2003.
DUNCAN REDISCOVERS HOME-RUN STROKE
Shelley Duncan's three-run home run opened the scoring in the Yankees' 13-2 win over the Mariners. Duncan hit five home runs in his first 22 at-bats (.318 BA) as a rookie last season, but he hit only two more in his next 96 ABs (.208) coming into Friday's game.
LAMB SCORES 4 FROM 8TH SLOT
Mike Lamb scored four runs in the Twins' 9-4 win at Detroit, which might not seem noteworthy. But Lamb was batting in the eighth slot in the batting order. Over the last four seasons, only two other eighth-place hitters crossed the plate four times in one game: Joe Crede (June 20, 2006) and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Aug. 22, 2007).
ZAMBRANO CONTRIBUTES 4 HITS TO WIN OVER PIRATES
Carlos Zambrano went 4-for-5 in the Cubs' 12-3 win over the Pirates. It was the fourth time in the last two seasons that a pitcher contributed four hits to his team's attack. Micah Owings did it twice and Bobby Livingston once, all last season. There had been only four such games over the previous 15 seasons combined (1992-2006).
GARZA MOVES RAYS STARTERS CLOSER TO TEAM RECORD
Matt Garza allowed four hits over seven and one-third innings in the Rays' 2-0 win over the Orioles. That lowered the ERA of Rays starting pitchers to 3.49 this month, well below the team record of 3.78 set in September 2001 (minimum: 10 games).
HALLADAY THROWS 5TH COMPLETE GAME OF SEASON
Roy Halladay pitched a four-hitter in the Blue Jays' 7-1 win over the Royals. It was Halladay's fifth complete game of the season. Over the last 15 years, the only other pitchers to complete at least five starts before Memorial Day were Curt Schilling (6 in 1999), Randy Johnson (5 in 2000), and Mark Mulder (5 in 2003).
HOLLIDAY TIES GAME IN 9TH, WINS IT IN 13TH
Matt Holliday hit a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth and delivered a walkoff single in the 13th inning of the Rockies' 6-5 win over the Mets. Over the last four seasons, the only other player to tie a game with a ninth-inning home run and win it with a walkoff hit was Ryan Garko of the Indians (July 17, 2007 vs. White Sox).
CAMERON'S STRIKEOUT STREAK REACHES 20
Mike Cameron extended his strikeout streak to 20 consecutive games with a whiff against Brian Sanches. Cameron, who had a 26-game streak in 2001, became the first player in the live-ball era with two strikeout streaks of 20 or more games.
VOLQUEZ EVOKES MEMORIES OF FERNANDO-MANIA
Edinson Volquez allowed one run in six innings against the Padres on Friday night, which actually increased his ERA to 1.34 in 10 starts for the Reds. That's the lowest ERA in a pitcher's first 10 career starts in the National League since Fernando Valenzuela posted a 1.24 mark (1981).
FLOYD FORCES IN RUNS WITH HBPs TO CONSECUTIVE BATTERS
Gavin Floyd hit Macier Izturis and Gary Matthews Jr. with consecutive pitches with the bases loaded in the White Sox' loss. That hadn't been done in three years-since Chad Qualls of the Astros nailed Damian Jackson and Miguel Olivo with two straight pitches to force in a pair of runs on August 24, 2005.
BEAT WEBB, LOSE TO ZITO? THAT'S BASEBALL.
What a crazy game baseball can be. Barry Zito (1-8) broke his season-long eight-game losing streak on Friday night against the Marlins, who two nights earlier handed Brandon Webb (9-1) his first loss of the season. Only three other teams in major-league history beat a pitcher with a record of 8-0 or better and lost to one with a record of 0-8 or worse in the same season, let alone the same week:
1938 Yankees - beat Lefty Grove, Red Sox (8-0); lost to Jim Walkup, Browns (0-10)
1962 Cubs - beat Billy Pierce, Giants (8-0); lost to Bob Miller, Mets (0-12)
1997 Mariners - beat Roger Clemens, Blue Jays (11-0); lost to Mike Mohler, A's (0-8)