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INDIANS' TURNAROUND IN FIRST 30 GAMES
From Elias: The Indians, who lost 93 games last season, improved their record to 21-9 this year with a 12-inning win at Oakland on Thursday. It's only the sixth time in major-league history that a team has lost 90 or more games in one season and then won at least 21 of its first 30 decisions the following year. Cleveland is the first team to do that since the Twins in 2001. Minnesota was 22-8 in its first 30 games that year (Tom Kelly's last season as the team's manager), after posting a 69-93 record in 2000. The Tribe pulled off a similar 30-game start coming off a 90-loss season once before, in 1916, when they were 21-9 through 30 decisions, following a dismal 57-95 final mark in 1915.
SWEENEY'S FIVE HITS ARE IN VAIN
From Elias: The Athletics' Ryan Sweeney knocked out five hits in six at-bats in Oakland's 12-inning loss to the Indians. Sweeney is only the fourth Oakland player to record five hits in an A's loss since the team moved to the Bay Area in 1968. The others were Joe Rudi (1970), Dave Duncan (1972) and Adam Kennedy (2009).
HALLADAY BEATS LANNAN IN PREDICTABLE MISMATCH
From Elias: The pitching matchup in Philadelphia proved to be the mismatch everyone expected as Roy Halladay and the Phillies beat John Lannan and the Nationals, 7-3. Entering the game Halladay had won his last nine decisions against the Nationals/Expos and Lannan had an 0-9 career record versus the Phillies. Thus it was no surprise that Halladay allowed only two runs in seven innings while Lannan could not record an out in the third inning and got charged with six runs. This was the first matchup of starting pitchers, one on a winning streak of nine or more games against the opposing team and the other on a losing streak of nine-plus games against his opponent, since Sept. 29, 1929, when the Red Sox and Philadelphia Athletics met at Braves Field in Boston. A's starter Lefty Grove had won his last 13 decisions against the Red Sox and Boston starter Red Ruffing had lost his last 12 decisions against the Athletics. Ruffing and the Red Sox beat Grove and the A's, 10-0, snapping both streaks.
ANGELS' NINTH-PLACE HITTER SCORES FOUR RUNS
From Elias: Peter Bourjos, batting ninth for the Angels on Thursday, had three hits in four at-bats and scored four runs in the Halos' 11-0 win against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Bourjos is only the third player in Angels history to score four runs in one game from the ninth slot in the batting order. The others were Gary DiSarcina (June 23, 1995 at Seattle) and Adam Kennedy (May 10, 2002 vs. White Sox).
NUNEZ'S FIRST 2 STARTS ARE MEMORABLE FOR THE WRONG REASON
From Elias: Fewer than 50 games into his major-league career, Eduardo Nunez has already accomplished something that few Yankees shortstops have ever done. Nunez committed two errors in the Yankees' 6-2 loss at Detroit on Thursday, just as he did in his only previous start at shortstop this season (April 28 vs. Chicago). Derek Jeter, Bucky Dent, Gene Michael, Tony Kubek, Phil Rizzuto - none of them ever committed two or more errors in each of two consecutive starts at shortstop for the Yankees. In fact, the last Yankees player to do so was Frankie Crosetti in September 1945. Crosetti, who also had back-to-back multiple-error starts in 1936, and Mark Koenig (1927 and 1928) were the Yankees shortstops besides Nunez to do so since 1920.
PORCELLO STAYS HOT WITH WIN OVER YANKEES
From Elias: Rick Porcello, who recorded a 6-3 win over the Yankees in Detroit on Thursday, has pitched at least six innings and allowed no more than two runs in each of his last four starts. He's 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA over that span. It's the longest such streak for Porcello in his three seasons in the majors. Before his current four-game stretch, the only time Porcello did that in each of three consecutive starts was as a rookie in May 2009 .
BERKMAN REACHES 10-HOMER MARK MUCH SOONER THAN IN 2010
From Elias: Lance Berkman's three-run home run in the eighth inning snapped a 3-3 tie and provided the winning margin for the Cardinals in their 6-3 victory over the Marlins. Berkman, who was playing in his 29th game of the season on Thursday, did not reach double-figures in home runs last year until his 70th game (July 7). This is the third-fewest games Berkman has needed to reach 10 homers in any season; he got there in 20 games in 2002 and 24 games in 2006 .
PRICE IS ALWAYS RIGHT AT HOME AGAINST THE BLUE JAYS
From Elias: David Price came within one out of a complete game in his 3-1 win over the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field, in which the only Toronto run was unearned. Price is 8-0 in nine career starts versus the Blue Jays, including a perfect 6-0 record in six starts at home against them. Price has allowed only five runs (four earned) in his six home starts versus Toronto and he hasn't given up more than one run in any of those games (0.81 ERA).
PELFREY PREFERS HOME COOKING
From Elias: Mike Pelfrey allowed only one earned run in 7¿ innings in his 5-2 win over the Giants at Citi Field on Thursday afternoon. Pelfrey is 5-0 with a 2.06 earned-run average and .207 opponents' batting average in his last eight home starts, dating back to August 27 last year. He's 0-5 with an 8.62 ERA and .360 opponents batting average in seven starts on the road over the same span.
THE MELK MAN DELIVERS IN MANY WAYS FOR K.C.
From Elias: Melky Cabrera was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and four RBI in the Royals' 9-1 win against the Orioles on Thursday. It was the second time in Melky's major-league career that he recorded at least three hits, three runs scored and three RBI in the same game. He did that for the Yankees against the White Sox in Chicago on Aug. 2, 2009, hitting for the cycle and scoring three runs while driving in four.
REDS' BEST OFFENSIVE GAMES HAVE BEEN AGAINST DIVISION FOES
From Elias: The Reds won the rubber game of their three-game series against the Astros at Great American Ball Park by a 10-4 score on Thursday afternoon. Cincinnati has reached double-figures in runs scored in four games this season and each one has been a home game against one of its Central Division rivals. The previous instances were against the Brewers (April 3: 12-3), Astros (April 6: 12-4) and Pirates (April 16: 11-2).
ANOTHER CLUTCH HOMER FOR PRADO AGAINST THE BREWERS
From Elias: Martin Prado homered leading off the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Braves a 2-1 lead and an eventual win by that score against Milwaukee. Prado has hit three go-ahead or score-tying home runs in the eighth inning or later in his MLB career and two of the three have come against the Brewers this year. On April 4 he homered in the eighth inning to erase a Milwaukee lead and tie the game at 1-1.
KESLER SCORES WINNING GOAL AGAIN FOR THE CANUCKS
From Elias: Ryan Kesler, who scored two goals including the overtime winner in Game 3, scored the winning goal in the Canucks' 4-2 victory in Game 4 of their series against the Predators. Kesler's three goals in the last two games match his career total in 32 postseason contests before Game 3 .
EHRHOFF TIES PLAYOFF POINTS RECORD BY CANUCKS D-MAN
From Elias: Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff tallied three points in the Canucks' Game 4 win at Nashville (one goal, two assists). Ehrhoff tied the Vancouver record for points by a defenseman in a playoff game, done seven previous times, last by Kevin Bieksa in Game 5 of the Canucks' second-round series against the Blackhawks in 2010 (two goals, one assist).