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DWYANE WADE'S LONG WAIT FOR HIS FIRST BUCKET
Dwyane Wade didn't make his first field goal until the 21st minute of the Heat's 106-91 loss at Atlanta. That was the furthest into a postseason game that Wade ever played before hitting a field goal. In fact, he failed to make a field goal in the first quarter of only four of 58 previous playoff games.
GALLARDO DOES IT ALL FOR THE BREWERS
It isn't often that you can say an individual player wins a game single-handedly, but that was pretty much the case with Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo on Wednesday afternoon against the Pirates. Gallardo beat Pittsburgh, 1-0, allowing only two hits and striking out 11 in eight innings, and the only run of the game came on his seventh-inning home run. Gallardo was only the third pitcher in major-league history to win a game 1-0 while recording at least 10 strikeouts and hitting a home run. The other pitchers to do that were Hall of Famers: the Yankees' Red Ruffing on Aug. 13, 1932 in Washington (12 strikeouts) and the White Sox' Early Wynn on May 1, 1959 against the Red Sox (14 strikeouts).
ANOTHER FINE START FOR SANTANA WITH LITTLE TO SHOW FOR IT
It was another frustrating day for Johan Santana, who pitched seven innings and allowed only two runs against the Marlins on Wednesday afternoon, leaving the game with a 3-2 lead. Santana ended up without a decision as reliever J.J. Putz allowed the two runs in the eighth inning that gave Florida a 4-3 victory over the Mets. It was the eighth time in his two seasons with the Mets that Santana pitched at least seven innings and gave up no more than two runs but came away winless (two losses, six no-decisions). That ties him with Matt Cain and Cole Hamels for the most such fruitless starts by a major-league pitcher since the beginning of the 2008 season.
SANTOS COMES UP SHORT ON HIS BIRTHDAY
Mets backup catcher Omir Santos, who turned 28 years old on Wednesday, had the chance to give himself and his teammates a special birthday present when manager Jerry Manuel sent him up to pinch-hit with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Mets trailing the Marlins, 4-3. However, Florida closer Matt Lindstrom got him out on a pop-up to shortstop to end the game. It's possible that Santos's teammate, Carlos Delgado, offered birthday wishes and sympathy to Santos in the clubhouse after the game, since Delgado was the last major-league player to make the final out of a one-run game with the bases loaded on his birthday. Carlos did that for Toronto on June 25, 1997, striking out against the Red Sox' Heathcliff Slocumb to finish a 13-12 Boston victory.
CITI FIELD IS A TRIPLE-THREAT BALLPARK
Because of its spacious dimensions and high outfield walls, the Mets' new home, Citi Field, is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the best triples parks in the majors. There have been 12 three-base hits in the last seven games at Citi Field, with at least one in each game, including three in the Mets' loss to the Marlins on Wednesday. In the 45 seasons that the Mets called Shea Stadium home (1964-2008) there were only two stretches in which triples were hit in each of seven-or-more consecutive games there: an eight-game streak in August 1965 and a seven-game streak in September 1976.
ANOTHER BIG INNING FOR THE YANKEES
The Yankees scored 10 runs in the seventh inning in Detroit on Tuesday night and they had a seven-run fourth inning at Comerica Park on Wednesday. It's only the second time in Yankees history that they scored at least seven runs in an inning in each of two consecutive games, both on the road. The previous instance was in 1929, when they had a seven-run seventh inning against the Red Sox in Boston (May 26; the game was played at Braves Field, not Fenway Park) and a seven-run fifth inning at Griffith Stadium in Washington (May 28).
SWISHER HOMERS FROM BOTH SIDES FOR EIGHTH TIME
Nick Swisher hit two home runs, one from each side of the plate, in the Yankees' 8-6 win in Detroit. It was the eighth time in Swisher's career that he switch-hit home runs in one game. The only other active players who've done that as often as Swisher are Tony Clark (10 times) and Jorge Posada (8) .
TORII HUNTER: EIGHT HOME RUNS AND COUNTING
Torii Hunter hit his eighth home run of the season for the Angels in their 3-2 win at Baltimore. With one game left this month (Thursday in New York), Hunter has a chance to tie or break the Angels record for home runs by a player at the end of April (nine), a mark set by Brian Downing in 1987. Jim Edmonds had eight homers through April 30 for the Angels in 1996.
LOUX GETS FIRST WIN SINCE 2003
Shane Loux got the win for the Angels on Wednesday, the second of his major-league career and his first since Sept. 24, 2003 for Detroit at Kansas City. Loux's span of five years and 217 days between MLB victories was the longest for any pitcher since Bobby Seay had a gap of five years and 359 days between wins on Sept. 1, 2001 (for Tampa Bay) and Aug. 26, 2007 (for Detroit).
CUBS BLANKED BY 10 RUNS IN ARIZONA
The Cubs' 10-0 loss to the Diamondbacks was the first time that they were shut out by a double-digit margin since May 26, 2003, when they lost 10-0 to the Pirates at Wrigley Field. Entering play on Thursday, the Cubs had the majors' longest current streak without a double-digit shutout loss. That distinction now belongs to the Dodgers, whose last such loss was in October 2004.
DEMPSTER'S 200TH CAREER START
Ryan Dempster's 200th career start in the majors was not one of his best as he lost to the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, allowing five runs in six innings. Dempster, who has also appeared in 225 games out of the bullpen, became the seventh current big-league pitcher with at least 200 games as both a starter and a reliever. The others are Tom Gordon, John Smoltz, Derek Lowe, Miguel Batista, Darren Oliver and Kelvim Escobar.
VOLQUEZ: SECOND STRAIGHT START WITH ONE HIT ALLOWED
Edinson Volquez allowed only one hit in eight innings in his 3-0 win over the Astros on Wednesday, after giving up just one hit in five innings in a loss to the Braves in his last start. The last pitcher with consecutive starts of five-plus innings and no more than one hit allowed was the Nationals' Shawn Hill, who did it spanning a trip to the disabled list in 2007. The last Reds pitcher with consecutive starts like that was Ron Villone in 1999; the last before him was Johnny Vander Meer, who had consecutive no-hitters in 1938.
VAN EVERY HITS HIS FIRST MLB HOME RUN
Jonathan Van Every's 10th-inning solo homer, the first home run of his major-league career, gave the Red Sox a 6-5 win in Cleveland. The last two players to hit their first big-league home run for the Red Sox and do so in extra innings were Mike Greenwell (in 1985) and Wade Boggs (1982).
ANOTHER BIG COMEBACK WIN FOR THE RED SOX
Boston overcame a 5-0 deficit in its win over the Indians. It was the Red Sox' third win this season in a game in which they trailed by five-or-more runs. The 29 other major-league teams have combined for four such wins this season. (One each for the Phillies, Marlins, Padres and Twins.) The 1998 Giants were the only other team in MLB history with three five-run (or greater) comeback wins before the end of April in one season.
A.L. CHAMPION RAYS LOSE THEIR SIXTH STRAIGHT SERIES
The American League champion Tampa Bay Rays won their first series this season but they've lost all six series they've played since then. The only other team to lose six series in April coming off a World Series appearance the previous year was the 2008 Rockies, though Colorado's series losses were not consecutive.
GREINKE WAS NEARLY UNTOUCHABLE IN APRIL
Zack Greinke, who beat the Blue Jays, 11-3, on Wednesday, finished April with a 5-0 record and an 0.50 earned-run average. Greinke is the fifth pitcher to win at least five April games in one season while recording an ERA under 1.00 that month since earned runs became an official major-league statistic (1912 in the NL, 1913 in the AL). The other pitchers to do that were Walter Johnson in 1913 (5-0, 0.24), Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 (5-0, 0.20), Randy Johnson in 2000 (6-0, 0.91) and Cliff Lee in 2008 (5-0, 0.96).
ANDERSON HERNANDEZ IS ANOTHER PHILLY PHANATIC
Anderson Hernandez had three hits and two doubles in the Nationals' game in Philadelphia on Wednesday, as he did in the series opener on Monday. Hernandez, who joined Washington last August, has started six games for the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park and he's had at least two hits in each game (4 three-hit games, 2 two-hit games). Anderson's hitting .615 (16-for-26) in those six starts. His average in the 33 other games he's played for Washington is .248.