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ROSE DELIVERS AN MVP PERFORMANCE IN ATLANTA
From Elias: Derrick Rose registered 44 points to lead the Bulls to a victory over the Hawks in Atlanta in Game Three of their playoff series on Friday night. Rose, 22 years and 214 days old on Friday, is the third youngest player to score 40 points in a postseason game on the road. The two youngest players to score 40+ points in a postseason road game were Magic Johnson in 1980 at Philadelphia (20 years, 276 days old) and LeBron James in 2006 at Washington (21 years, 119 days old). LeBron also did it in 2007 at Detroit at age 22 years, 152 days old.
MAVERICKS TAKE A 3-0 LEAD ON JACKSON'S LAKERS
From Elias: The Mavericks defeated the Lakers by a score of 98-92 to take a commanding 3-0 lead in their conference semifinals series on Friday night. This is the first time in his career as a head coach that Phil Jackson has lost the first three games of a postseason series. Jackson has appeared in 65 playoff series as a head coach.
ETHIER EXTENDS HITTING STREAK TO 30 STRAIGHT GAMES
From Elias: Andre Ethier went 3-for-5 against the Mets to extend his hitting streak to 30 straight games on Friday night. Ethier's 30th consecutive game with a hit came in the Dodgers' 33rd game of the season. Only three other players in the last 100 years have extended a hitting streak to 30-straight games as few as 33 team games into a season: Ryan Zimmerman in 2009 (30th straight game with a hit came in Washington's 32nd game), Rico Carty in 1970 (Atlanta's 31st game) and George Sisler in 1925 (St. Louis' 30th game).
Ethier extended his hitting streak against a team he has had little success against. Ethier entered Friday's contest with a .147 career batting average against the Mets. Only two active position players had a lower career batting average against a particular team than Ethier did against the Mets entering Friday's action (minimum: 100 AB): Adam LaRoche against Atlanta (.137) and Clint Barmes against the Mets (.140).
PHILLIES SHUTOUT ON TWO HITS ON A NIGHT LEE K'S 16
From Elias: Cliff Lee registered 16 strikeouts but the Phillies did not score a run and managed only two hits in a 5-0 loss to the Braves on Friday night. Only one other pitcher since 1900 has struck out 16-or-more batters in a game in which his team was shut out on two-or-fewer hits. On June 30, 1999, Arizona's Randy Johnson struck out 17 Reds in a game in which his team managed only one hit in a 2-0 loss.
GARCIA IS NEARLY PERFECT
From Elias: Jaime Garcia hurled a two-hit shutout to lead the Cardinals to a 6-0 victory over Milwaukee on Friday night. Garcia retired the first 22 batters he faced before issuing a walk to Casey McGehee. Garcia is the first Cardinals pitcher to have a perfect game through one out into the eighth inning since Danny Cox retired the first 23 Reds on May 31, 1985. Cox also finished that game with a two-hit shutout in a 5-0 Cardinals victory.
YANKEES ROOKIE SHINES IN TEXAS
From Elias: Rookie Ivan Nova allowed two hits over seven-and-a-third innings pitched and earned the victory in the Yankees 4-1 win over the Rangers on Friday night. Over the last 25 seasons, only two other Yankee rookie hurlers have earned a victory while allowing two-or-fewer hits over more than seven innings pitched: Orlando Hernandez on August 13, 1998 (two hits in 8.1 IP against Texas) and Mariano Rivera - yes, Mariano Rivera - on July 4, 1995 (two hits in eight innings against the White Sox).
FOUR STRAIGHT STELLAR STARTS FOR SHIELDS
From Elias: James Shields allowed one run in over seven innings of work to lead the Rays to a 6-2 victory over the Orioles on Friday night. It is the fourth straight start in which Shields has pitched at least seven innings while allowing one or fewer runs, the longest such streak in Tampa Bay's franchise history.
TWINS GET HELP FROM RED SOX PITCHERS
From Elias: The Red Sox dropped a 9-2 decision to the Twins at Fenway Park on Friday night. Minnesota scored two of their runs on balks (one by Tim Wakefield in the second inning and the other by Alfredo Aceves in the sixth inning). Minnesota is the first team to score two runs on balks in a single game since the Angels did it against the Yankees on July 17, 1992. Both of the Yankees' balks were committed by Rich Monteleone.
ANGELS PITCHERS DOMINATE INDIANS
From Elias: Angels pitchers allowed only three hits in 11 innings in the team's 2-1 victory over the Indians on Friday night. It marked only the second time in the last 35 years that the Angels have allowed three-or-fewer hits in a game that was at least 11 innings in length. On May 18, 2004, the Angels held the Yankees to just three hits in a 1-0 victory in 11 innings at Angel Stadium.
LEE COMES THROUGH IN THE CLUTCH FOR THE ASTROS
From Elias: Carlos Lee drove in Hunter Pence with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning to lead the Astros to a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Pirates on Friday night. It is the eighth time that Lee has had a go-ahead RBI in the eighth inning or later since the start of the 2010 season, the highest total for any major-league player over that span.
CLIPPARD FANS ALL SIX BATTERS HE FACES
From Elias: Tyler Clippard struck out all six batters he faced in relief in Washington's extra-inning victory over the Marlins in Florida on Friday night. Only four other pitchers over the last 25 seasons have pitched at least two innings and struck out every batter they faced in the game: Washington's Chris Schroder on September 17, 2006, Seattle's Rafael Soriano on July 30, 2003, Cincinnati's Scott Williamson on May 27, 1999 and the White Sox' Roberto Hernandez on July 25, 1996. All four pitchers faced exactly six batters.
REDS WIN FIFTH STRAIGHT GAME AT WRIGLEY FIELD
From Elias: The Reds defeated the Cubs at Wrigley Field by a score of 5-4 on Friday afternoon. It was the Reds fifth straight win at Wrigley Field dating back to last July 4th. Over the last 30 years, the Reds have had only one other winning streak of five or more games at Wrigley Field (a seven-game streak spanning the 2002 and 2003 seasons). That seven-game winning streak is the Reds' longest ever at Wrigley Field.
RYAN PUTS STRUGGLES BEHIND HIM
From Elias: Brendan Ryan singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Mariners to a 3-2 win over the White Sox on Friday night. Ryan entered the day with a .111 batting average (3-for-27) with men in scoring position, tied with Brandon Inge for the lowest average in the major leagues among players with 25-or-more at bats in that situation.
HELM KEEPS RED WINGS ALIVE
From Elias: The Red Wings stayed alive in their series against the Sharks with a 4-3 win in Game 4, courtesy of Darren Helm's game-winning goal that snapped a 3-3 tie with 1:27 remaining in the third period, after Detroit had squandered a 3-0 lead. Helm was only the second NHL player to score a tiebreaking goal in the last five minutes of the third period in the 2011 playoffs. The other player to do that was the Rangers' Brandon Dubinsky at the 18:21 mark of period three in Game 3 of New York's first-round series against the Capitals.
LUCIC FINALLY JOINS THE PARTY
From Elias: Milan Lucic scored his first two goals of the 2011 playoffs to lead the Bruins to a 5-1 win that completed a four-game sweep of their series against the Flyers on Friday night. Lucic led the Bruins with 30 goals during the regular season but entering play on Friday he was the only one of the 29 individuals in this year's playoffs who scored 25-or-more goals in 2010-11 and was goalless in the 2011 postseason.