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GONZALEZ HEATS UP BEFORE THE WEATHER DOES
From Elias: Adrian Gonzalez's three-run homer was the key blow in a 6-0 win for the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Saturday's game was the fourth in a row in which Gonzalez had homered, marking the fourth time in his major-league career that he has homered in four straight games in a season. He had two such streaks in the 2009 season (one of which reached a career-high five games), and one last year. All four of Gonzalez's streaks have started before the end of May.
GOOD THINGS COME IN THREES FOR PEDROIA AGAINST YANKS
From Elias: Dustin Pedroia had three hits in Boston's 6-0 win over the Yankees on Saturday night. Pedroia has played five games against the Yankees this season, and has had at least three hits in four of them. In the 33 games Pedroia has played against teams other than the Yankees, he has collected three hits only once (on April 21 in Anaheim).
JURRJENS ENJOYING GREAT START TO SEASON
From Elias: The Braves have had some great starting pitchers in the past 20 years, but by one measure, Jair Jurrjens has had a better start this season than Greg Maddux or Tom Glavine had in any of their years in Atlanta. With his win today over the Phillies, Jurrjens has now won five of his first six starts, while allowing only eight earned runs in those six starts. Since the Braves left Boston after the 1952 season, only two other Braves pitchers won at least five of their first six starts in a season, while allowing eight-or-fewer earned runs: John Smoltz in 1999 and Pascual Perez in 1983. Both Smoltz and Perez were 5-0 with eight earned runs allowed through six starts.
SANCHEZ MASTERS NATS AGAIN
From Elias: Anibal Sanchez continued his brilliance against the Nationals with eight innings of shutout ball, and is now 7-0 with a 1.99 ERA against Washington. Only three other pitchers won their first seven decisions against the franchise formerly known as the Expos: Joaquin Andujar (who won his first seven decisions against the Expos, all while with Houston), Ryan Dempster (who won the first five of those seven decisions while with the Marlins), and Sanchez's current teammate Josh Johnson.
MARLINS LOVE TO VISIT D.C.
From Elias: The Marlins' 1-0 road win against the Nationals gave them eight straight wins in the nation's capital. That marks the second-longest current road winning streak by one team over another. The only current longer streak is the Phillies' 11-game streak at San Diego. Florida's eight-game streak is also the longest road winning streak for the Marlins against any other team. They have never had another streak longer than six against any other opponent.
TIGERS STARTERS SUCCESS BRINGS GOOD INDICATOR OF FUTURE?
From Elias: Brad Penny threw eight shutout innings in the Tigers' 3-0 win over the Royals on Saturday, continuing the dominant starting pitching for Detroit. Over their last 11 games, Tigers starters are 9-1 with an ERA of 1.67. Now the good part for Tigers fans: In each of the last three seasons in which the Tigers had an 11-game span in which their starters won at least nine games and had an ERA that low, the team reached the World Series. Detroit's most recent such span came in 2006 (when they reached the Fall Classic); their other most recent spans came in 1984 (the season of their last Series title), and in 1968, when they had multiple 11-game spans of such dominance en route to a World Series title.
HAWPE HITS RARE HOMER IN PRESSURE SITUATION
From Elias: Brad Hawpe of the Padres hit a two-run, two-out homer off Huston Street to give San Diego the lead in a come-from-behind 9-7 win at Coors Field. You'll have to forgive Rockies fans if they are bitter about Hawpe's success in a key at-bat with two outs today, as they did not see much of it when he played for Colorado. While playing with the Rockies from 2004 to 2010, Hawpe had 66 at-bats with two outs and runners on base in a late-inning-pressure situation. Hawpe batted only .242 and delivered only one home run in those 66 at-bats, well below his .280 average during his Rockies career.
RANGERS HAVE FITS WHEN TIED AT END OF EIGHT
From Elias: Michael Young's RBI single in the eighth inning got the Rangers even with the Angels on Saturday, but the Rangers allowed a run in the ninth and lost 3-2. The Rangers are now 0-5 this season in games in which they are tied entering the ninth inning. The only other time the Rangers lost the first five games of the season in which they were deadlocked after eight innings came in 1972, the franchise's first year in Texas after leaving Washington. The last time that any major-league team had a longer streak of such losses to start the season came in 2006, when the Cubs went 0-11 for the season in games that were tied entering the ninth inning.
REDS KNOW HOW TO GET INNINGS STARTED AGAINST CARDS
From Elias: Ramon Hernandez led off the third and fifth innings with home runs in the Reds' 7-3 win over the Cardinals, and Brandon Phillips led off the second with a homer as well, giving the Reds three different innings with a leadoff home run. Since the start of the 2004 season, the Cardinals have allowed a leadoff homer in three-or-more innings of a game four times, and all four of those games have come against the Reds.
HOEY AND MIJARES BOTH POOR IN RELIEF
From Elias: James Hoey and Jose Mijares both had poor outings in the eleventh inning of the Twins' 9-3 loss to the Blue Jays. Hoey allowed a home run to Jose Bautista, followed by two walks. Mijares relieved Hoey, and then allowed a double, single and two walks to the four batters he faced. They became the first big-league teammates each to have a relief outing allowing a hit and multiple walks while not retiring a batter in the same game in almost 15 years. The last pair of teammates to do it also did so with the Twins: Dan Naulty and Erik Bennett, against the Brewers on May 17, 1996. The last team other than the Twins to have a pair of pitchers with relief outings of this type in the same game was the Kansas City A's back in May of 1962 against the Yankees. Diego Segui and Bob Grim were the ineffective relievers in that one.
BRAUN AND FIELDER BOTH HOMER AGAIN
From Elias: Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder each hit a solo homer for the Brewers in their home win over the Pirates. It marked the fourth time this season that Fielder and Braun had each homered in the same game, tied for the most of any pair of teammates this season. It also marked the 30th time since Braun's debut in 2007 that both players had homered in the same game, the most of any pair of players over that span. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley of the Phillies rank second with 26 during that time.
SEGUIN ONE OF THE YOUNGEST TO SCORE IN NHL FINAL FOUR
From Elias: Tyler Seguin, making his NHL playoff debut at age 19 years, 103 days, scored the Bruins first goal in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final. In the NHL's expansion era (i.e., since 1968), only four players have scored a goal in a Conference Final (called the Semi-Final through 1981) or Stanley Cup Final game at a younger age than Seguin: Eddie Olczyk (age 18 years, 269 days in 1985), Dainius Zubrus (age 18-334 in 1997), Pat LaFontaine (age 19-87 in 1984) and Radek Dvorak (age 19-76 in 1996).
LIGHTNING FAST GOALS BURY BOSTON
From Elias: The Lightning took a 3-0 lead in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final on goals by Sean Bergenheim, Brett Clark and Teddy Purcell within an 85-second span of the first period. It was only the second time in the last nine playoff years that an NHL team scored three goals in a span of no more than 90 seconds. The Sharks scored three times in 79 seconds in the first period of Game 1 in their 2010 second-round series against the Red Wings.