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LeBron breaks one of Michael's records, ties one of Kareem's
From Elias: LeBron James finished with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, breaking one of Michael Jordan's NBA records along the way, as the Heat polished off the Pacers, 102-90, to take a three-games-to-one lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. It was the 74th playoff game in which James has generated at least 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, surpassing Jordan's previous record of 73 such games. (This was the 151st playoff game for James; Jordan played in 179 playoff games.) James also tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA record of 31 playoff games with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists.
Chris Bosh, who had scored only nine points in each of the first three games of the series, scored 25 points, his highest total in any of his last 58 playoff games. He last scored that many points in a playoff game on May 22, 2011, when he dropped 34 points on the Bulls in Game Three of that year's Eastern Conference Finals.
Ryu extends hitless streak by Dodgers pitchers to 17 innings
From Elias: Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven perfect innings to start Monday's game against the Reds, in the Dodgers' first game after Josh Beckett's no-hitter at Philadelphia on Sunday. Combined with an inning from the game before Beckett's no-no, in which reliever Paul Maholm held the Phillies hitless, that made 17 consecutive hitless innings for the Dodgers staff. That's the longest stretch of that type by any major-league team since the Angels' staff threw 17 straight hitless innings, including a no-hitter by Jered Weaver, in May of 2012.
Cubs win one for the Gipper
From Elias: Jeff Samardzija finally earned his first victory of the season as the Cubs somehow generated eight runs and walked away with an 8-4 triumph in San Francisco. The Cubs' right-hander, who allowed four runs (three earned) and fanned 10 batters over seven innings, entered the game leading the majors with a 1.46 ERA. But the Cubs had scored a total of only 20 runs in his 10 starts; no pitcher who has made at least eight starts this season had seen poorer run support. Going back to last season, Samardzija had gone 16 starts without a victory.
Samardzija had been the first major-leaguer to be leading his league in ERA without having been credited with a victory, this late on the calendar, since June 7, 1977, when Bruce Sutter led the National League with an ERA of 0.89 without having a win. (Yes, Sutter, the Cubs star reliever, qualified for the leaders by having pitched 50 2/3 innings over the Cubs' first 50 games.)
Kendrick rights the ship the day after Phillies get no-hit
From Elias: Kyle Kendrick, meet Jeff Samardzija. Less than an hour after the Cubs had defeated the Giants, ending Samardzija's streak of 16 straight starts without a victory, the Phillies followed suit. Kendrick went six and two-thirds scoreless innings and the Phillies went on to complete a 9-0 whitewash of the Rockies, ending Kendrick's run of, you got it, 16 straight starts with nary a win. Think that's ever happened before: On the same day, two pitchers end streaks of at least 16 consecutive starts without a win? Thinking, thinking, thinking. Well, it happened just once before. On Sept. 5, 1979, Oakland's Matt Keough ended a streak of 28 starts without a win while Seattle's Rob Dressler stopped his streak of 17 starts without a win.
The Phillies bounced back emphatically after having been no-hit by Josh Beckett on Sunday. Only one other team in major-league history, in its first game after being no-hit, produced a shutout victory scoring as many as nine runs. On June 4, 1971, the Reds beat up the Cardinals, 12-0, a day after being held without a hit by the Cubs' Ken Holtzman.
Papi makes Turner Field seem small; Sox end losing streak
From Elias: David Ortiz crushed a game-tying three-run homer in the fifth inning, then supplied what proved to be the game-winning RBI with a sacrifice fly in the seventh as the Red Sox overcame a 6-1 deficit to take an 8-6 decision in Atlanta - a victory that ended their 10-game losing streak.
Ortiz's home run was his seventh in only 12 games played at Turner Field, and it came on his 36th at-bat in the Atlanta ballyard. No other player has ever hit his first seven homers at Turner Field in so few at-bats; the next-quickest to seven home runs there were Mark Teixeira (his first 48 at-bats) and Albert Pujols (his first 54 at-bats). Papi's homer, off Ervin Santana, was the third of three consecutive two-out hits with runners on base; prior to that inning, Santana had allowed only three hits in 33 at-bats with two out and runners on base this season.
The Red Sox' victory allowed them to avoid tying the major-league record for the longest losing streak by a defending World Series champion. The Royals, in 1986, lost 11 consecutive games and the 1998 Marlins had two separate losing streaks of 11 games. The last team to end a double-digit losing streak by overcoming a deficit of five-or-more runs was Baltimore in 2001: the Orioles also overcame a five-run deficit to end a 10-game losing streak, in Toronto on September 20 of that year.
Stanton continues his war on Washington
From Elias: Giancarlo Stanton doubled and scored in the first inning, then belted a monstrous two-run homer in the third inning and the Marlins rode those drives to a 3-2 victory in Washington. Stanton has now played 61 games against the Nationals since getting to the majors in 2010; in those games, he is batting .315 with 20 doubles, 21 home runs and 50 runs batted in. Since 2010, no other major-league player has as many extra-base hits against one team, and only Jose Bautista, who has hit 23 home runs in 64 games against the Red Sox, has as many homers against any team.
Blue Jays: 7 straight wins; Encarnacion: 13 HRs in 20 games
From Elias: The Blue Jays continued to roll, and Edwin Encarnacion continued to lead them. Encarnacion walloped his 13th home run in his last 20 games and Toronto won its seventh straight, 10-5, over the Rays. Encarnacion became the third player in the Jays' 38-year history to knock out 13 homers over a 20-game span of one season; George Bell had a run of that sort in May and June of 1987, and so did Jose Bautista in April and May of 2011.
Gillaspie joins the White Sox Four-Hit Club
From Elias: Conor Gillaspie enjoyed the first four-hit game of his major-league career and propelled the White Sox to a 6-2 victory over the visiting Indians. Just 53 games into the season, eight different White Sox players have already produced a game of four-or-more hits; in addition to Gillaspie, Alexei Ramirez, Gordon Beckham, Tyler Flowers, Dayan Viciedo, Moises Sierra and Avisail Garcia each have one such game, and Marcus Semien has two. No other major-league team has more than four players who have had as many as four hits in a game this year.
Hundley an instant hero to his new teammates
From Elias: Nick Hundley will long remember his first game with the Orioles: His two-out single in the 10th inning brought home J. J. Hardy with what proved to be the winning run as Baltimore completed a stunning, 7-6 comeback win in Milwaukee. Hundley became only the second major-leaguer over the last five seasons to get a game-winning RBI in extra innings in his debut with a team. The other late-game hero also did it for the Orioles: Taylor Teagarden delivered a walk-off homer in the 13th inning of his first game with the Birds, against the Tigers on July 14, 2012.
Blazing Cano gets three more hits
From Elias: Robinson Cano stayed hot with three hits, including a pair of run-scoring singles, in the Mariners' 5-1 victory over the Angels. Cano, now 25-for-57 in his last 15 games, lifted his batting average to .332 with his 21st multiple-hit game of the season. It looks like there might be some tough competition for at least one starting spot in the All-Star Game; the only players in the American League this season with as many multiple-hit games as Cano are also second baseman - Houston's Jose Altuve (22 such games) and Detroit's Ian Kinsler (21).
Roberts: a tough out with the bags full
From Elias: Brian Roberts delivered a bases-loaded single in the 12th inning to plate the go-ahead run and the Yankees came away with a 6-4 victory in St. Louis. The Cardinals had intentionally walked Ichiro Suzuki to get to Roberts, but the second baseman lifted his career batting average with the bases full to .363. That stands seventh among the 55 active major-league veterans with at least 100 at-bats in those situations, but it's only the third best mark on the Yankees, behind Ichiro (.386) and Mark Teixeira (.370).
It works every time: getting 5 homers beats getting 5 hits
From Elias: Tommy Milone and two relievers blanked the Tigers on five hits while Milone's teammates produced five home runs, capped by a grand-slam by Derek Norris, and the A's shook off their lost weekend in Toronto with a 10-0 triumph. The Athletics have been playing baseball since 1901, but Monday's game marked only the sixth of their 17,646 games in which they hit at least five home runs while shutting out their opponents. (Their last such games came less than a month apart, against the Rangers and the Royals, in 2003.)
Walk-off HR in Phoenix: a first for Pollock but old hat for D-Backs
From Elias: A.J. Pollock's two-out homer broke a 5-5 tie in the last of the ninth and allowed the Diamondbacks to walk off with a 7-5 victory over San Diego. While it was the first walk-off RBI of Pollock's major-league career, it was the 45th walk-off home run for the Diamondbacks in their 17 seasons of existence. That's the second-highest total for any National League team over those 17 years; only the Reds (52) have more walk-off homers.
Sanchez channels Ryan Howard in Pirates' comeback win
From Elias: Gaby Sanchez delivered a pinch-hit home run to get the Pirates on the board in the eighth inning; he then delivered a go-ahead single in the ninth inning, knocking in the run that put the Pirates ahead to stay in a thrilling 5-3 victory over the Mets in New York. You have to go back over eight years to find the last time that a major-league player did what Sanchez did: hit a pinch-hit homer to drive in his team's first run, and then later deliver a game-winning RBI on the road. The last such player was Ryan Howard, whose exploits came in a 12-inning victory for the Phillies at Cincinnati on May 14, 2006.
Doughty leads high-scoring Kings to 3rd straight win
From Elias: Defenseman Drew Doughty scored one goal and assisted on another for the Kings in their 5-2 victory over the Blackhawks in Game Four of the Western Conference Final, after doing the same in L.A.'s 4-3 win in Game Three. Doughty is only the second defenseman in Kings history to contribute both a goal and an assist in each of two consecutive team games in one playoff year. The first was Steven Duchesne, who did it in Games Four and Five of the Kings' first-round series against the Canucks in 1991. No NHL defenseman managed that feat in the playoffs in any of the past four years, but Doughty is the fourth backliner to do it in this year's playoffs, joining Pittsburgh's Matt Niskanen, Chicago's Brent Seabrook and the Rangers' Ryan McDonagh.
The Kings were beaten, 3-1, by the Blackhawks in the first game of the Western Conference Final, but Los Angeles has won the next three games by scores of 6-2, 4-3 and 5-2. Since 2000, there have been only two other instances of a team winning three consecutive games in a Conference Final or Stanley Cup Final series while scoring at least four goals in each game. It was the Penguins who did it both times: Pittsburgh beat the Flyers, 4-2, 4-2 and 4-1, in the first three games of the 2008 Eastern Conference Final, and in 2009, the Penguins completed a sweep of the Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final with 7-4, 6-2 and 4-1 victories in the last three games.