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CELTICS OVERCOME 10-POINT DEFICIT TO WIN GAME 7
The Celtics rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second quarter to beat the Bulls, 109-99, and win their playoff series in seven games. The last team to win a Game 7 after trailing by at least 10 points was the Lakers in the 2000 Western Conference Finals. On June 4, 2000, Los Angeles rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat Portland and advance to the NBA Finals.
BEN GORDON: 15-FOR-15 FROM THE LINE IN BULLS' GAME 7 LOSS
Ben Gordon scored a game-high 33 points in the Bulls' Game 7 loss to the Celtics. Gordon was 15-for-15 from the foul line, matching the best free-throw performance in NBA history in the seventh game of a playoff series. Elgin Baylor was 15-for-15 (with 33 points, like Gordon) in the Minneapolis Lakers' Game 7 loss to the St. Louis Hawks in the 1960 Western Finals.
THERIOT HOMERS FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT DAY
Ryan Theriot ended a streak of 620 consecutive homerless at-bats with a grand-slam against the Marlins on Friday and he went deep again on Saturday with a two-run shot in the first inning. Theriot is only the second player in the last 70 years to end a home-run drought of at least 600 at-bats by homering in consecutive games. Gene Clines went 1079 at-bats without a home run from July 1973 to May 1977 while playing for four different teams the Pirates, Mets, Rangers and Cubs then homered in consecutive games against the Padres at Wrigley Field.
DUNN ENDS HIS HITLESS STREAK WITH RISP
Adam Dunn had been hitless in his last 15 at-bats with runners in scoring position when he hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning against the Cardinals' Joel Pineiro. It was Dunn's longest hitless streak with men in scoring position since 2003, when he had a 16-AB drought with RISP.
SHAIRON MARTIS: CG-WIN, ONE RUN, NO WALKS
Shairon Martis did not walk a batter in his complete-game 6-1 victory against the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon. Martis was the fifth rookie pitcher in Expos/Nationals history to earn a complete-game win while allowing no more than one run and issuing no walks. The others all did it when the franchise was located in Montreal: Ernie McAnally (twice in 1971), Mark Gardner (1990), Brian Barnes (1990) and Carlos Perez (1995).
HILL'S EXTRA-INNING HEROICS
Aaron Hill hit a game-tying home run in the bottom of the 10th inning and he drove in the winning run with a single in the 11th inning to give the Blue Jays a 5-4 win over the Orioles. Hill was the first player to have a game-tying RBI and a game-winning RBI in consecutive extra innings since Mike Sharperson did that for the Dodgers against the Padres on June 29, 1992. In that game, Sharperson's sacrifice fly tied the score in the bottom of the 10th inning and his RBI single in the 11th inning capped a three-run rally that earned the Dodgers a 6-5 win.
KENDRICK NOW 7-FOR-10 AGAINST CC
Howard Kendrick went 2-for-4 against CC Sabathia in the Angels' win over the Yankees, giving Kendrick seven hits in 10 career at-bats against Sabathia. The only other player who had at least seven hits in his first 10 at-bats versus Sabathia is the Twins' Alexi Casilla, who had nine hits in his first 10 ABs against him, including eight consecutive hits. (Casilla is now 9-for-13 off CC.)
JETER MAKES FIRST ERROR OF THE SEASON
Derek Jeter's 23-game errorless streak to start the season came to an end when he made a wild throw that allowed an Angels runner to reach first base on Saturday. There are still two shortstops who have played at least 20 games and not committed an error this season: Toronto's Marco Scutaro (26 games at SS) and Florida's Hanley Ramirez (21 games).
SPILBORGH'S TWO-HOMER GAME FROM LEADOFF SPOT
Colorado's leadoff batter Ryan Spilborghs had three hits, including a pair of home runs, in the Rockies' 5-1 win at San Francisco. It was the eighth time in franchise history that a Rockies player hit two home runs in one game from the first slot in the batting order. Spilborghs, who had a two-homer game from the #1 slot on July 4 last year, is the first Colorado player ever to do it twice and he's the first to do it in a road game.
OLLIE'S NIGHTMARE CONTINUES
Oliver Perez may have pitched himself out of the Mets' rotation after his dismal performance in Philadelphia on Saturday, in which he allowed five hits, six walks and four runs in only 2.1 innings. Perez's 9.97 earned-run average this year is the third-highest ever by a pitcher in his first five starts of a season for the Mets. Only Roger Craig, who had a whopping 14.59 ERA in his first five starts for the hapless 1962 Mets, and Jason Jacome, who posted a 10.29 ERA in the only five starts he made for the team in 1995, fared worse than poor Ollie has so far this season.
GRANDERSON: ONLY ONE XBH THAT WASN'T A HOMER
Curtis Granderson has nine extra-base hits this season and eight of them have been home runs, including the two-run shot in the eighth inning which enabled the Tigers to come from behind and beat the Indians on Saturday. (He has one double this season.) Granderson hit 64 home runs over his first three full seasons in the majors (2006-2008) but he also had 95 doubles and 45 triples.
BERKMAN'S FIRST-INNING HOME RUN
Lance Berkman homered in the first inning for the Astros in their 5-1 win in Atlanta. It was the first first-inning homer this season for Berkman, who had a major league-high 28 home runs in the first inning over the past three seasons combined (12 in 2006, 9 in 2007, 7 in 2008).
DAN HAREN'S FIRST SIX STARTS
Dan Haren evened his record at 3-3 with a win in Milwaukee on Saturday night. Haren has pitched at least six innings and allowed no more than two runs in each of his six starts this season, though he lost the first three largely because the Diamondbacks scored a total of one run in those three games. Since 1993, the only other pitchers to begin a season with six consecutive starts of six-plus innings and two-or-fewer runs allowed were Tom Glavine in 2002 (first seven starts), and Jose Contreras (first six) and Jered Weaver (first seven starts of his MLB career) in 2006.
WAKEFIELD'S 20TH CAREER WIN VS. TAMPA BAY
Tim Wakefield allowed five runs in five innings against Tampa Bay on Saturday night but that was good enough for a victory as the Red Sox beat the Rays, 10-6. It was Wakefield's 20th regular-season win against Tampa Bay (against just five losses), his highest total versus any team and the most by any pitcher against the Rays. Mike Mussina (19-8) is the only other pitcher with more than 15 wins versus Tampa Bay.
CALLASPO: NINE-GAME ROAD HITTING STREAK TO START THE SEASON
Alberto Callaspo, who went 3-for-6 with two doubles for the Royals in their 11-inning win in Minnesota, has hit safely in all nine road games in which he's played this season, compiling a .485 average on 16 hits in 33 at-bats. Since late August last season, when he came off a near two-month stint on the disabled list, Callaspo has hit safely in 22 of his 23 road games and posted a .409 average away from home (36 hits in 88 at-bats).
PETIT GETS THREE HITS FOR A'S IN HIS SEASON DEBUT
Gregorio Petit, playing his first game in the majors this season, started at second base and had three hits for the A's in their 3-2 win at Seattle. Petit made his major-league debut with Oakland last season and started six games, hitting safely in all six.
OVECHKIN AND CROSBY EACH SCORE GOING HEAD-TO-HEAD
Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby went head-to-head in a playoff game for the first time on Saturday afternoon and each player scored a goal in the Capitals' 3-2 series-opening win over the Penguins. Ovechkin and Crosby have played against each other 15 times in the regular season, with both players scoring goals in the same game only three times and just once in their last 12 meetings, though that was in the final Washington-Pittsburgh game this season (March 8).
TWO MORE THREE-GOAL PERIODS FOR THE BLACKHAWKS
The Blackhawks trailed 2-0 at the end of the first period in Game 2 of their series against the Canucks, but Chicago scored three times in both the second and third periods to post a 6-3 victory that evened the series at one game apiece. The Blackhawks have scored three goals in a period six times in this year's playoffs, while the 15 other teams have done so only eight times, with only Detroit (2) having recorded more than one three-goal period.