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The Nuggets made 32 of 40 free-throw attempts while the Mavericks sunk 40 of 49 attempts in Denver's controversial 106-105 victory in Dallas. It was the first NBA regulation-length playoff game in nearly four years in which each team attempted 40-or-more free throws. The last was a 113-104 Miami victory over Detroit on May 29, 2005, in which the Pistons took 43 foul shots and the Heat attempted 54.
LEBRON: 7 IN A ROW LIKE THIS
LeBron James scored 47 points to lead the Cavaliers to a 97-82 victory in Atlanta-Cleveland's seventh successive victory to start the playoffs. James has scored 25-or-more points in each of those games, tying the NBA record for consecutive games scoring 25-or-more points, all in victories, in one playoff year. The only other player ever to do that is Kobe Bryant, who scored 25-or-more points in each of seven straight Lakers playoff wins in 2001.
METS: SEVEN PLAYERS WITH 2+ HITS IN WIN OVER BUCS
The first seven players in the Mets' starting lineup each had at least two hits in New York's 10-1 win over the Pirates. It was the first time that the Mets had seven different players with two-or-more hits in one game since they had seven in a 12-6 win over Washington at Shea Stadium on Sept. 23, 2006. John Maine was the Mets' starting pitcher who benefitted from the offensive explosion in that game, as he was in Saturday's win over the Bucs.
EVAN LONGORIA: 21 RBIs IN NINE GAMES AGAINST BOSTON
Evan Longoria leads the majors with 44 runs batted in this season and 21 of them have come in the nine games he's played against the Red Sox, including five in Tampa Bay's 14-5 win in Boston on Saturday. In the divisional play era (1969 to date), only three others players have had 21-or-more RBIs against the Red Sox in one season: Ken Griffey, Jr. in 1996 (24 in 13 games), Vernon Wells in 2006 (22 in 18 games) and Willie Horton in 1971 (21 in 12 games).
BRIAN TALLET'S FIVE STARTS FOR THE JAYS THIS SEASON
Brian Tallet allowed only one run and two hits in seven innings in his win over the A's. Tallet, who made only one start in his three previous seasons with the Blue Jays while pitching in 142 games out of the bullpen, has made five starts for Toronto this season. He allowed 10 runs and 11 hits in four innings in one of those games (April 29 at Kansas City), but in his four other starts Tallet has given up only six runs and 14 hits in 25 innings.
JAVIER VAZQUEZ: WINLESS AT HOME, UNBEATEN ON THE ROAD
Javier Vazquez won 6-2 at Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon, allowing two runs, four hits and no walks in 7.2 innings. Vazquez is 0-3 with a 6.10 earned-run average in three home starts this season but he's 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA in four starts on the road. The only other National League pitcher who is winless in three-or-more starts at home this season and unbeaten in at least three road starts is the Phillies' Brett Myers (0-2 in three home starts, 2-0 in three road starts).
ERIC STULTS: FOUR-HIT SHUTOUT WITH NO WALKS
Eric Stults allowed only four hits and did not walk a batter in his 8-0 shutout victory over the Giants. Over the last seven seasons, the only other Dodgers pitcher to author a shutout in which he allowed no more than four hits and issued no walks is the man whose place in the rotation Stults has temporarily taken, the injured Hiroki Kuroda, who had two such shutouts last year (a four-hitter against the Cubs on June 6 and a one-hitter against the Braves on July 7).
ANOTHER BIG INNING AGAINST THE YANKEES
The Orioles scored eight runs in the second inning in their 12-5 win over the Yankees. There have been seven instances of a team scoring eight-or-more runs in one inning of a major-league game this season and three of them have been against the Yankees. (No other team has allowed so many runs more than once.) In addition to Baltimore on Saturday, the Indians had nine-run and 14-run innings against the Yankees, both in the first series at the new Yankee Stadium.
MARK TEIXEIRA'S FIRST 100 AT-BATS FOR THE YANKEES
Mark Teixeira completed the first 100 at-bats of his Yankees career with only 19 hits, equaling his lowest hit total over any 100-AB span of his seven seasons in the majors. The only other time that Teixeira failed to record at least 20 hits over 100 at-bats extended from September 23, 2003 (at the end of his rookie season) to May 18, 2004.
AARON HARANG GIVES HIMSELF A BIRTHDAY GIFT
Aaron Harang, who turned 31 years old on Saturday, celebrated his birthday with an 8-3 win over the Cardinals. Harang was the first pitcher in the majors to win a game on his birthday this season and the first Reds pitcher to do that since Jose Rijo on May 13, 2002 against Milwaukee. (Rijo turned 37 years old that day.)
MAUER AND MORNEAU GO BACK-TO-BACK FOR SECOND STRAIGHT GAME
Joe Mauer and Jason Morneau hit consecutive home runs in the third inning for the Twins in their win over Seattle on Saturday night, after doing the same thing in Minnesota's win over Seattle on Friday. It's the first time that the Twins have had back-to-back homers in each of two consecutive games since 1987, when Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek did that on June 20, and Puckett and Gary Gaetti turned the trick on June 21 (both games against the White Sox).
CARLOS QUENTIN'S DOUBLE DOUBLES
Carlos Quentin was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles in the White Sox' 3-2 win over the Rangers. Quentin's first extra-base hit this season was a double (on April 9 vs. Kansas City) but before Saturday, his only extra-base hits since then were home runs (eight, in 25 games).
TIGERS' SECOND CONSECUTIVE SHUTOUT IN CLEVELAND
Detroit shut out the Indians 4-0 in Cleveland on Saturday, after blanking them 1-0 at Progressive Field on Friday. It's the first time that the Tigers have recorded shutouts in consecutive games, both in Cleveland, in over 100 years! The last time that happened was July 3-4, 1908, several years before Cleveland acquired its current team nickname. (In 1908 the club was commonly referred to as the Naps, in honor of their player-manager, Napoleon Lajoie.) The last time the Tigers notched shutouts in consecutive games in Detroit, both against the Indians, was May 28-29, 1965, when Hank Aguirre and Mickey Lolich posted back-to-back 1-0 complete-game wins.
HANLEY RAMIREZ: FOUR STRAIGHT GAMES SCORING TWO RUNS
Hanley Ramirez scored two runs for the fourth consecutive games as the Marlins beat the Rockies, 3-1, on Saturday night. Ramirez is first major-league player to score at least two runs in each of four straight games this season and only the second player in Marlins history to do it. Mike Lowell had a four-game multiple-run streak for Florida in 2004 (April 27-30).
RYAN BRAUN: FOUR CONSECUTIVE MULTI-HIT GAMES
Ryan Braun is 9-for-15 with three home runs, 10 RBIs and eight runs scored over his last four games, and he had at least two hits in each game. It's the third time that Braun has posted four-or-more consecutive multiple-hit games in his brief major-league career. He had a five-game streak last year (May 9-13) and a four-game streak in 2007 (August 2-5).
RARE 1-0 COMPLETE SHUTOUT WIN BY AN ANGELS PITCHER
Joe Saunders' 1-0 win over Zack Greinke and the Royals was only the second 1-0 complete-game shutout victory by an Angels pitcher over the last 13 seasons. The other one was by John Lackey against Tampa Bay in Anaheim on May 7, 2004.
ZIMMERMAN EXTENDS HITTING STREAK IN LAST AT-BAT
Ryan Zimmerman extended his hitting streak to 27 games with a solo homer in his fourth and final trip to the plate in the Nationals' 2-1 win in Arizona. It was only the third time during Zimmerman's streak that he had just one hit and it came in his last plate appearance. The other instances were in the fourth and fifth games, when he kept the fledgling streak going with a hit in his fifth and final turn in the batter's box.
FLEURY WINS STARTS ON CONSECUTIVE DAYS FOR ONLY SECOND TIME
Marc-Andre Fleury and the Penguins beat the Capitals for the second straight night to take a three-games-to two lead in their series. It's only the second time in Fleury's NHL career regular-season and playoffs that he's started and won games on consecutive days. He did that in March 2006 against the Devils and Flyers (both in Pittsburgh).
MARC-ANDRE FLEURY: 5-0 IN PLAYOFF OT GAMES
Marc-Andre Fleury is now 5-0 in playoff overtime games (20 in 2008 and 30 this year). The only other active NHL goaltenders to who won his first five-or-more postseason overtime decisions is Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who won his first eight playoff games which required more than 60 minutes to decide a winner.
DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN SCORES TWO FOR CHICAGO
Dustin Byfuglien recorded his first two-goal game in the playoffs to help the Blackhawks beat the Canucks, 4-2, and take a three-games-to-two lead in their series. Byfuglien is the sixth different Chicago player with a multiple-goal game in this year's playoffs; the others are Martin Havlat, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Dave Bolland. The Red Wings, with four, are the only other team with more than three such players in the 2009 NHL postseason.