Special to ESPN.com
KOBE IS KING IN 4TH QUARTER
Kobe Bryant scored 13 points in the fourth quarter and the Lakers out-scored the Nuggets, 32-18, in the final quarter to take a 103-97 decision in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals. Through three games of the series, Bryant has scored 39 fourth-quarter points, shooting 10-of-15 from the floor and 15-of-17 from the foul line.
LAKERS TIE NBA RECORD WITH GAME 3 WIN
The Lakers have won each of their last seven road playoff games against the Nuggets: one game in 1979, two in 1985, one in 1987, two in 2008, and one on Saturday night. That equals the NBA record for consecutive road playoff wins against a particular opponent. The Lakers actually tied their own league record: they defeated the Spurs in seven straight road playoff games from 1982 to 1988.
JACKSON HAS ONLY SEEN A COUPLE LIKE THIS
Phil Jackson has won more road playoff games (72) than any head coach in NBA history, with the most recent coming on Saturday night in a game in which the Lakers trailed at Denver, 79-71, entering the fourth quarter. Prior to Saturday night, Jackson had won only two of those games after his team entered the fourth quarter trailing by at least eight points: a second-round win with the Bulls at Philadelphia in 1990 and a second-round win with the Lakers at San Antonio in 2002.
WHAT COMES NEXT IN THIS SEQUENCE: 20, 0, 0?
The White Sox notched their second consecutive shutout over the Pirates, coming on the heels of the Sox' 20-1 loss to the Twins on Thursday. And that, friends, is some major-league history.
There have been nearly 500 games in major-league history in which a team allowed 20-or-more runs, but this is the first instance in which such a team allowed no runs over its next two games. (Previously, the highest total of runs allowed in a game that preceded two shutout wins was 18, done back during the early months of the Rutherford B. Hayes administration. In June of 1877, in the second year of the National League, Brooklyn suffered a lopsided 18-6 loss to Boston, but followed up with a pair of 7-0 victories, also against Boston.
MAUER AND MAYS
Joe Mauer went 3-for-3 including a home run, scored three runs and knocked in two as the Twins defeated the Brewers, 6-2. In the 21 games that he has played this season, Mauer is batting .429 (33-for-77) with nine home runs, 28 RBIs and 22 runs scored.
The last major leaguer who reached Mauer's figures in batting average, homers, RBIs and runs scored over his first 21 games of a season? Willie Mays, who in his first 21 games in 1964, was batting .471 (40-for-85), with 11 homers, 30 RBIs and 24 runs scored.
ROOKIE vs. PAPELBON: ROOKIE WINS
Rookie Omir Santos hit a two-out, two-run, ninth-inning home run off Jonathan Papelbon, overcoming a 2-1 deficit in the Mets' 3-2 victory at Boston.
Is Santos headed for bigger things? Consider that over the last 20 years, only 13 other rookies have turned a deficit into a lead with a two-out homer in the ninth inning or later. And among the players who did it, as rookies, were several who have gone on to enjoy considerable subsequent success, including Jim Thome in 1991, Eric Karros in 1992, Carlos Beltran and Mike Lowell in 1999, Ryan Zimmerman in 2006 and Ryan Braun in 2007.
ONE MEMORABLE CYCLE THROUGH THE ROTATION
Kyle Lohse threw eight scoreless innings in the Cardinals' 5-0 win over the Royals, extending his team's run of fabulous efforts by starting pitchers; St. Louis starters have allowed only one run in 36.2 innings-that's an ERA of 0.25-over the team's last five games.
Since the National League began keeping track of ERAs in 1912, the Cardinals have had only one other five-game span in which their starting pitchers had an ERA this low. That came in 1917, when Cardinals starters went five straight games without allowing an earned run.
LARUSSA'S MANAGERIAL MILESTONE
With their team holding a 3-0 lead at the start of the seventh inning on Saturday, Cardinals fans saw a familiar defensive shift. Brendan Ryan entered the game at second base, and first-year second baseman Skip Schumaker moved to right field. Since Tony LaRussa came to town in 1996, St. Louis fans had seen such a thing a thousand times.
Literally. The Schumaker 2B-RF entry in the boxscore of Saturday's game marked the 1,000th time in LaRussa's 14 seasons as the Cardinals manager that he had deployed one of his players at two different positions (at least two, that is) in the same game. Tony's longtime penchant for iconoclastic lineup gyrations - sometimes you feel that they're part strategic, part for his own amusement - have left his rivals in the dust. While the Cardinals have had 1,000 at-least-two-positions-in-a-game players since 1996, no other team has come within 200 of that total. By comparison, the Braves (managed by Bobby Cox while LaRussa has piloted the Cardinals), have used a player at two positions in the same game only 293 times since 1996.
ANOTHER WALKOFF WIN IN THE BRONX
Alex Rodriguez's two-run, ninth-inning homer tied the game and Melky Cabrera's run-scoring single was the game-winning hit as the Yankees took a 5-4 decision from the Phillies. It was the fifth walkoff win for the Yankees during May, their highest total in one month since September 1988, when Lou Piniella's Yankees had five walkoff wins.
The victory over Philadelphia was also the Yankees' fourth walkoff win of their current homestand, their highest total since the 1963 team had a homestand with four walkoffs. But no one smashed a cream pie in Yogi Berra's face!
YANKEE STADIUM MAKES MORE HR HISTORY
The four home runs hit in the Yankees-Phillies game on Saturday raised the total of homers hit to 86 in 22 games at new Yankee Stadium. And besides the on-going major-league record for home runs in the first 'x' games at a new ballparkyes, 86 is the record for the first 22 gamesthere was other home run history created in the Bronx on Saturday (and unreported until now).
There have now been 22 games played at the House That Steinbrenner Built, and at least one home run has been hit in every game. That matches the longest streak of major-league games with a home run from the start of play at any stadium in major league history. The only other stadium that yielded home runs in each of the first 22 big-league games played there is Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Ricosite of a season-opening Rangers-Blue Jays game in 2001 and then an alternate home site for the Montreal Expos starting in 2003. (There were 77 home runs hit in the first 22 games played at Hiram Birthorn.)
MAYBERRY CHANNELS HIS DAD
John Mayberry, Jr. hit a three-run homer, in just the second at-bat of his major league career, in the Phillies' game at Yankee Stadium. Like everyone else, we got a laugh when FOX's telecast repeatedly showed a shot of a fan identified as Mayberry's dad, the former first baseman for the Astros, Royals, Blue Jays and Yankees, who hit 255 big-league home runs. Only the fan who was shown was not actually the elder Mayberry, but someone else; FOX found the real Mayberry later on, and had fun with the misidentification.
But it would have been nice had the broadcast crew mentioned-had it known, of course-that the senior Mayberry owns a unique distinction at the old Yankee Stadium. He was the only visiting player in the history of the House That Ruth Built to hit a home run there in each of four consecutive games in the same series. Mayberry did that in 1972, his first year with the Royals.
PADRES' STREAK EVOKES COLEMAN'S YEAR AS MANAGER
The Padres won their eighth straight game, this time by a 3-1 score over the Cubs. San Diego has allowed a total of only 14 runs during the eight-game winning streak, and has allowed only six runs over the last six games of the streak.
Only once previously in the Padres' 41-year history did they win eight straight games while allowing 14-or-fewer runs. In the summer of 1980, under manager Jerry Coleman, the Padres won eight in a row while allowing only 13 runs. The starting pitchers who contributed to that run: Randy Jones, John Curtis, Gary Lucas, Rick Wise, Steve Mura and Bob Shirley.
VOTTO IS BOFFO
Joey Votto, who missed the Reds' previous five games while undergoing medical tests related to dizziness, homered in each of his first two at-bats back in action on Saturday against the Indians. He was the first Reds' player since 1945 to hit two homers in a game, on his first two at-bats after having not played in any of the team's previous five games.
The last player to do it: Bucky Walters, against the Boston Braves, on May 20, 1945. Walters, of course, was an outstanding starting pitcher in that era, and the Reds went five games between two of his starts.
RANGERS' RIGHTIES TAKE IT TO MOEHLER
The Rangers sent only two right-handed hitters into battle against the Astros' Brian Moehler on Saturday, even though right-handed batters entered the game batting .500 against Moehler in his five previous starts this season.
But those two righties did some damage: Nelson Cruz belted two home runs to knock in four runs and Elvis Andrus came around to score after leading off the fifth inning with a hit. Those players went 3-for-5, raising the collective batting average by right-handers against Moeller to .510 (26-for-51)and, of course, that's the highest such average in the majors (minimum: 25 at-bats).
MALKIN'S MULTI-POINT STREAK
Evgeni Malkin scored two goals and added an assist as the Penguins took a three-games-to-none lead in their series against the Hurricanes with a 6-2 victory in Raleigh. Malkin has scored at least two points in each of Pittsburgh's last six games, amassing seven goals and nine assists over that span. He's the first NHL player with six consecutive multiple-point games in one playoff year since Dale Hawerchuk had a six-game streak for Buffalo in 1993.
Malkin's 16 points are the most by an NHL player over a six-game span in one playoff year since Wayne Gretzky recorded 16 points in six games for the Kings in 1993. The only Penguins player with as many points over a six-game span in one postseason was Mario Lemieux, who had 17 points over six games in 1992.