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FIRST TWO GAMES OF EAST FINALS DECIDED BY ONE POINT
The Cavaliers defeated the Magic by one point on LeBron James' buzzer beater in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals Friday night, answering Orlando's one-point victory in Game One. This is the first time in NBA history that each of the first two games of a playoff series was decided by a single point.
There have been only three other instances in NBA history in which opposing teams played consecutive games decided by a single point at any point in a playoff series. That happened in the first round in 2006 between Cleveland and Washington (Games 5 and 6), in the 2002 Western Conference Finals between the Lakers and Sacramento (Games 4 and 5) and in the first round in 1989 between New York and Philadelphia (Games 2 and 3) .
HOWARD REGISTERS ANOTHER DOUBLE-DIGIT REBOUND GAME
Dwight Howard recorded 18 rebounds in Orlando's Game Two defeat Friday night. Howard has registered double digits in rebounds in each of his first 14 games of the 2009 playoffs. Over the last 30 years, only three other players have posted 10-or-more rebounds in each of their first 14 games of a playoff season: Shaquille O'Neal in 2001 (first 16 games), Charles Barkley in 1993 (first 14 games) and Larry Bird in 1981 (first 17 games) .
JETER KEEPS INTER-LEAGUE STREAK ALIVE
Derek Jeter led off the bottom of the first inning with a single off Brett Myers in the Yankees' loss Friday night. Jeter has now reached safely in 45 consecutive interleague games. That ties the major-league record in that category. Craig Biggio reach based safely in 45 straight interleague games from 1997 to 2000 and Barry Bonds did it in 45 straight from 2001 to 2004.
WHITE SOX GO FROM ONE EXTREME TO ANOTHER
The White Sox shutout the Pirates, 2-0, a day after allowing 20 runs to the Twins. Over the last 50 years, only three other teams have shutout an opponent after allowing 20-or-more runs in their previous game: Detroit in 2004 (allowed 26 runs to Kansas City in the first game of a doubleheader and then shut them out in the second game), Oakland in 1980 (allowed 20 runs to Minnesota, then shutout the Angels) and Atlanta in 1971 (allowed 20 runs to the Mets and then shut them out the next day) .
PORCELLO TOSSES ANOTHER GEM
Detroit rookie phenom Rick Porcello allowed one run over six innings and got the win in Detroit's 4-3 victory over Colorado Friday night. The 20-year old Porcello has now posted a victory while allowing one or fewer runs in each of his last four starts. Only five other pitchers since 1900 won four straight starts while allowing one or fewer runs in a single season prior to turning 21 years old: Christy Mathewson (six straight in 1901 at age 20), Chief Bender (four straight in 1903 at age 19), Walter Johnson (five straight in 1908 at age 20), Fernando Valenzuela (seven straight in 1981 at age 20) and Kerry Wood (four straight in 1998 at age 20) .
CUDDYER BECOMES FOURTH PLAYER TO HIT FOR THE CYCLE THIS SEASON
Michael Cuddyer hit for the cycle in the Twins 11-3 romp over the Brewers. Cuddyer became the fourth player to hit for the cycle this season, joining Orlando Hudson (April 13th), Ian Kinsler (April 15th) and Jason Kubel (April 17th). This is the first time in major-league history that four cycles were recorded in a season by the end of May.
SEVEN MORE HOME RUNS AT YANKEE STADIUM
There were seven home runs hit in the Phillies 7-3 victory over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. That marks the third time in the 21 games played at the new Yankee Stadium that there were at least seven home runs hit (eight on April 18th and eight on May 7th). There was only one season in which there were at least three games with seven-or-more home runs hit in the 84-year existence of the old Yankee Stadium (four games in 2005) .
RAYS SCORE 5+ RUNS IN CONSECUTIVE INNINGS
The Rays scored six runs in the second inning and five runs in the third inning in their 15-2 rout of the Marlins Friday night, marking the second time this season Tampa Bay has scored five-or-more runs in consecutive innings (they scored six runs in the fifth inning and five runs in the sixth inning on May 9th vs. Boston). Prior to this season, Tampa Bay scored five-or-more runs in back to back innings only one time (April 13, 1998 vs. Minnesota) .
METS WIN DESPITE MAKING THREE ERRORS
The Mets beat the Red Sox 5-3 Friday night despite committing three errors. That marks the fifth time this season that the Mets have won a game in which they committed multiple errors. That is tied with Oakland for the most such wins in the major leagues this season.
YOUKILIS 0-FOR-3 WITH 3 K'S IN RED SOX LOSS
Kevin Youkilis struck out in each of his three official at bats in the Red Sox loss to the Mets Friday night (he was hit by pitch in his other plate appearance). That is only the second time in his career that Youkilis has gone 0-for-3 or worse and struck out in each of his official at bats. Youkilis was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts n September 2, 2007 against the Orioles.
CARDINALS HAVE ALLOWED ONE-OR-FEWER RUNS IN FOUR STRAIGHT GAMES
The Cardinals shutout the Royals by a score of 5-0 Friday night marking the fourth consecutive game that St. Louis has allowed one-or-fewer runs. This is the first time in over 28 years that the Cardinals have allowed one-or-fewer runs in four straight games. The last time they did that was in April of 1981.
ELVIS' FOUR HITS HELPS RANGERS TO EXTRA-INNING WIN
Rangers' rookie Elvis Andrus had four hits to help lead the Rangers to a 6-5 victory over the Astros in extra innings Friday night. Andrus is the third rookie this season with four hits in a game, joining Minnesota's Jose Morales (April 26th) and Tampa Bay's Michel Hernandez (April 30th) .
HALLADAY STRONG IN BLUE JAYS' LOSS
Roy Halladay pitched seven shutout innings in Toronto's 1-0 loss to the Braves Friday night. Halladay has pitched at least seven innings in each of his first 10 starts this season. Only two American League pitchers over the last 15 years pitched at least seven innings in each of their first 10 starts of a season: Minnesota's Carlos Silva in 2005 (first 10) and Boston's Pedro Martinez in 2000 (first 11).
This marked the 23rd time in his career that Halladay has pitched at least seven shutout innings, but it is only the third time he did not earn a victory in those games. The other two instances occurred on June 20, 2008 vs. Pittsburgh and September 8, 1999 vs. Seattle.
PINIELLA'S CUBS SHUT DOWN AGAIN
The Cubs were shutout, 4-0, by the Padres Friday night. The Cubs have now scored one run or fewer in each of their last four games. This marks the first time in Lou Piniella's career as a manager his team has been held to one-or-fewer runs in four consecutive games.
RED WINGS SET NHL RECORD
The Red Wings allowed a power play goal in their overtime loss to the Blackhawks Friday night. That marks the 12th straight game Detroit has allowed a power play goal in the 2009 playoffs, a new NHL record for a single postseason. The Red Wings were tied with the Penguins in that category entering tonight. Pittsburgh allowed a power play goal in 11 straight games during the 1989 playoffs.
SUBSTITUTE GOALIE LEADS BLACKHAWKS TO OVERTIME WIN
The Blackhawks beat the Red Wings in overtime, 4-3, with Cristobal Huet getting the victory after replacing Nikolai Khabibulin in goal for Chicago at the start of the third period. Huet is the first goaltender in Blackhawks' history to win an overtime playoff game as a substitute. The only other active NHL goaltender with an OT win in a playoff game he did not start is Carolina's Cam Ward, who did that against Buffalo in 2006.
THREE RED WINGS DEFENSEMAN SCORE IN SECOND PERIOD
All three of the Red Wings' goals in Friday's game were scored in the last six minutes of the second period, after Detroit fell behind 3-0, and each one was scored by a defenseman: Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski and Jonathan Ericsson. It was the second time in the 2009 playoffs that a team had three different defensemen score goals in the same period. Washington's Milan Jurcina, Mike Green and Tom Poti did that in the first period of Game 6 in the Capitals' first-round series against the Rangers. Before this year, the last instance of that in a postseason game was in 1992, when Vancouver's Dave Babych, Jyrki Lumme and Doug Lidster each scored once in the second period of an 8-2 Canucks win over the Winnipeg Jets.