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CAVALIERS WIN BIG IN SERIES OPENER VS. HAWKS
The Cavaliers routed the Hawks, 99-72, matching the largest margin of victory in the opening game of a conference semifinal series over the last nine years. The Cavs were on the losing end of the last second-round Game 1 decided by 27 points (or more) - a 113-86 loss at Detroit in 2006.
No NBA team has won a playoff series after losing Game 1 by more than 25 points since the Lakers rebounded from a 148-114 pasting to defeat the Celtics in the 1985 NBA Finals.
RED SOX CONTINUE THEIR MASTERY OVER YANKEES
The Red Sox concluded a two-game sweep at Yankee Stadium with a 7-3 victory, improving their record to 5-0 against the Yankees this season. There were only four other seasons in which either the Sox or Yankees won the first five head-to-head games against the other. Boston won the first five in 1985 and the first 14 in 1912; New York won the first six in 1994 and the first nine in 1933.
JOBA'S 12 STRIKEOUTS ARE NEWS
Joba Chamberlain recovered from a shaky start, allowing four runs before retiring a batter, to post 12 strikeouts in five-and-two-thirds innings in his 7-3 loss to the Red Sox. Only two other pitchers since 1900 struck out as many as 12 batters in a game in which they allowed four or more runs in the first inning: Herb Score (14 SO in 1959) and Nolan Ryan (13 SO in 1973). Other notes on Chamberlain's performance:
* Nine of his 12 strikeouts were on called third strikes, the most in one game since September 2, 2001, when Mike Mussina recorded nine called strikeouts in his near-perfect game against the Red Sox.
* Only four other pitchers since 1900 struck out 12 or more batters pitching less than six innings in the game: Cole Hamels (2006), Curt Schilling (1997), Kevin Appier (1994), and J.R. Richard (1978).
MELKY, SWISH AND TEX MAKE SWITCH-HITTING HISTORY
A leftover from Monday night's action: Mark Teixeira hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the Yankees' 6-4 loss to the Red Sox. Just 25 games into the season, Teixeira joined Melky Cabrera and Nick Swisher as the first three teammates to homer from both sides of the plate in one game in the same season. Cabrera did it against the A's on April 22, Swisher against the Tigers on April 29.
GIANTS SCORE EARLY, LINCECUM LOCKS IT DOWN
The Giants scored three runs in the top of the first and Tim Lincecum took over, pitching seven innings in a 6-2 victory at Wrigley Field. It was only the second time in 33 road starts that Lincecum was staked to a three-run lead before he threw a pitch. He has a 19-0 record (six no-decisions) when given a lead of three or more runs.
THOMAS PASSES AUDITION AS TIGERS' #3 HITTER
Clete Thomas made his season debut, going 3-for-4 with a double and triple batting in the third slot of the order in the Tigers' 9-0 win over the Twins. Prior to that, third-place hitters in the Tigers' batting order had neither a double nor a triple this season.
PADILLA PITCHES LIKE THE RANGERS OF OLD
Vicente Padilla allowed one hit over eight innings in the Rangers' 7-2, 10-inning win over the Mariners. Padilla was the first Rangers starting pitcher over the last 12 seasons to allow only one hit over the first eight innings of a game. Rangers pitchers posted 20 such starts over the previous 12 seasons (1986-1997), including nine by Nolan Ryan.
PHILLIPS PLATES 6 IN WIN OVER MARLINS
Brandon Phillips drove in six runs in the Reds' 7-0 victory at Florida. It was the third time Phillips had six RBIs in one game. Only three other players had at least three 6-RBI games as a starting second baseman during the expansion era: Jeff Kent (7), Bret Boone (5), and Ryne Sandberg (3).
REDS MAKE IT 4 SHUTOUTS IN 6 GAMES
For only the third time in the live-ball era, the Reds have posted four shutouts over a six-game span. The starters in those games were Edinson Volquez, Bronson Arroyo, Johnny Cueto and Volquez. Starters in the previous instances were Elmer Riddle, Johnny Vander Meer, Joe Beggs and Vander Meer in 1943; and Gary Nolan, Jim McGlothlin, Jim Merritt and Nolan in 1970.
K-ROD OPENS THE DOOR, THEN SLAMS IT SHUT
Francisco Rodriguez gave back two runs of the three-run lead he inherited but earned his seventh save in the Mets' 4-3 win at Atlanta. It was the second time this season that K-Rod recorded a save despite allowing more than one run. Only three other pitchers have done that even once this season (Brad Lidge, Kerry Wood and David Aardsma). Rodriguez had only two such saves in his entire career with the Angels, spanning 408 appearances and 208 saves.
CARDINALS' STEADY SCORING FALLS SHORT IN LOSS TO PHILS
The Cardinals chipped away with runs in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings but couldn't overcome the Phillies' tack-on scoring, losing to Philadelphia, 10-7. It was the Cardinals' first loss in a home game in which they scored in five consecutive innings since 1917. St. Louis posted 57 wins and a tie in such games at home since that loss to the Reds.
BREWERS WIN 17TH IN A ROW OVER PIRATES
The Brewers defeated the Pirates, 8-5, for their 17th consecutive victory over Pittsburgh. That matches the longest winning streak ever posted against the Pirates, who have been in the National League since 1887. The Cardinals won 17 straight over the Bucs in 1964-1965.
CRAWFORD STOLEN-BASE STREAK REACHES 8 GAMES
Carl Crawford extended his stolen-base streak to eight consecutive games in the Rays' 6-3 victory over the Orioles. Over the last 40 seasons, only four other players recorded a single-season stolen-base streak as long as Crawford's: Corey Patterson, 9 (2006); Kenny Lofton, 8 (1996); Vince Coleman, 8 (1987); and Rickey Henderson, 8 (three times).
SCOUTING REPORT ON ROOKIE CECIL: DON'T DIG IN
Blue Jays rookie Brett Cecil became the first American League pitcher to strike out six or more batters without a walk in his major-league debut since Robinson Checo of the Red Sox did it in 1997 against the Yankees. Five NL pitchers did so in the interim: Max Scherzer (2008), Johnny Cueto (2008), Dan Smith (1999), Carlton Loewer (1998), and Carl Pavano (1998).
Oddly, Cecil was only the second pitcher in the last 75 years to hit three batters with pitches in his major-league debut, nailing Matt LaPorta once and Kelly Shoppach twice in Toronto's 10-6 victory. The other was Luis de los Santos of the Devil Rays in 2002.
THE SEDINS CELEBRATE THEIR 50TH IN STYLE
Henrik Sedin scored one goal and Daniel Sedin assisted on another in the Canucks' 3-1 victory at Chicago. It was the 50th postseason game in which the Sedin brothers played together. The NHL record for playoff games by brothers as teammates is 77 by Brent and Duane Sutter.
THE NIEDERMAYERS REACH A MILESTONE TOO
On a similar note, Rob Niedermayer played his 100th playoff game when the Ducks hosted the Red Wings Tuesday night. It was the 198th playoff game for Niedermayer's brother, Scott. They are the seventh family in which two or more brothers played at least 100 NHL playoff games each. Three Sutter brothers - Brent, Duane and Ron - reached the 100 mark.