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TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE FOR THE WIZARDS
From Elias: The Wizards posted a victory at Cleveland to extend their winning streak to five games. Washington hadn't won five straight games since winning six in a row from November 11-21, 2007. In the interim, every NBA team posted a winning streak of five or more games with the exception of the Kings, who haven't won five in a row since January 31-February 10, 2006.
PACERS COULD STRUGGLE AT HOME IN THE PLAYOFFS
From Elias: The Bulls defeated the Pacers at Indiana in a matchup of teams that will have home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. But keep this in mind for the postseason: The Pacers are 15-0 this season in home games against teams with losing records, but they are 8-10 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse against teams that are at-or-above the.500 mark.
CLIPPERS FINISH BELOW .500 ON THE ROAD
From Elias: The Clippers lost their regular-season finale at New York to drop their record to 16-17 on the road. The Clippers franchise, which entered the NBA in 1970 and has existed as the Buffalo Braves, San Diego Clippers and Los Angeles Clippers, has never finished a season with a .500 or better record in road games. The closest they came before this season was in 2005-06 (20-21). Their streak of 42 consecutive seasons with a losing road record is the longest such streak in NBA history.
REDICK AND ANDERSON HELP ORLANDO BEAT THE BOBCATS
From Elias: J.J. Redick scored a career-high 31 points and Ryan Anderson grabbed 13 rebounds as the Magic disposed of the hapless Bobcats. Anderson leads Orlando in both points per game (15.9 PPG) and rebounds per game (9.0 REB/G) over the club's last nine games, all without Dwight Howard.
REJECTED BY IBAKA
From Elias: Serge Ibaka blocked four shots in the Thunder's last game of the regular season, a 106-101 loss to the Nuggets. Ibaka ended the season with a streak of 30 consecutive games with at least one blocked shot. It's the longest such streak for any NBA player this season and the second-longest in SuperSonics/Thunder history, one shy of Ibaka's 31-game streak that overlapped the last two seasons.
HOCHEVAR AND BUTLER PUT AN END TO ROYALS' LOSING STREAK
From Elias: Luke Hochevar topped the Indians to snap the Royals' 12-game losing streak. Hochevar is 5-2 over his last eight starts that immediately followed a Kansas City loss. Billy Butler became the second player in major-league history to hit more than one home run in a victory that ended a team's losing streak of 12 or more games. The only other player to do that was Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx, who belted two homers for the Philadelphia Athletics on September 12, 1935 (in the first game of a doubleheader) to help snap their 13-game losing streak.
MILESTONE HOME RUN FOR KONERKO
From Elias: Paul Konerko hit the 400th home run of his major-league career, a game-tying shot in the ninth inning of the White Sox' 14-inning loss at Oakland. Konerko, who was a first-round draft pick of the Dodgers in 1994, debuted with Los Angeles for a cup of coffee in 1997 and hit the first four homers of his career for the Dodgers in 1998 before being traded to the Reds (for Jeff Shaw) during that season. Konerko was shipped from Cincinnati to Chicago that November, and the rest is history. Konerko's total of 396 homers for other teams after playing for the Dodgers is the highest for any player, by far. The only other players to hit as many as 250 home runs as ex-Dodgers are Frank Howard (259) and Mike Piazza (250).
NATIONALS STARTERS ALLOW A RUN
Jordan Zimmermann allowed one run in six innings to defeat the Padres and the only blemish on his record was a fifth-inning home run by Orlando Hudson that snapped a streak of 26 consecutive scoreless innings by Washington's starting pitchers. It was the longest such streak for Expos/Nationals starters since 1989, when Kevin Gross, Dennis Martinez, Bryn Smith and Mark Gardner combined for 27 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings for Montreal.
WRIGHT PASSES STRAWBERRY
From Elias: David Wright became the Mets' all-time RBI leader (735), passing Darryl Strawberry (733 RBIs for the Mets) with a two-run, go-ahead homer in the sixth inning of New York's 5-1 triumph over the Marlins. Wright joined Colorado's Todd Helton as the only active players who are the all-time RBI leaders for their current franchise.
LYNN WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT START
From Elias: Lance Lynn earned his fourth win in as many starts this season as the Cardinals topped the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Lynn is the second pitcher in the last 19 seasons to win his first four starts of a season for the defending World Series champion. The only other pitcher to do so since 1994 was Randy Johnson, who won his first six starts for the 2002 Diamondbacks.
HAMMEL IS O'S ACE
From Elias: Jason Hammel allowed only four hits in seven scoreless innings to beat the Blue Jays while improving his record to 3-0 (in four starts) and lowering his ERA to 1.73. No Orioles pitcher had won at least three of his first four starts of a season during April while posting an ERA as low as Hammel's since Jimmy Key in 1997 (3-0, 1.35 ERA).
NO SOPHOMORE JINX FOR HELLICKSON
From Elias: Jeremy Hellickson allowed one run in six innings to top the Angels and improve his record to 3-0 this season. Hellickson is the second starting pitcher to begin a season 3-0 after winning the Rookie of the Year Award the previous year. Dontrelle Willis won his first three decisions for the 2004 Marlins after being named the National League's top rookie in 2003. Two relievers won their first three or more decisions the year after they took Rookie of the Year honors: Butch Metzger (4-0, 1977 Cardinals) and Gregg Olson (3-0, 1990 Orioles).
JETER HITTING STREAK REACHES 15 GAMES
From Elias: Derek Jeter led off the first inning at Arlington with a single to extend his hitting streak to 15 games, the 13th hitting streak of 15 or more games in his career. The only active player to register hits in 15 consecutive games as often as Jeter (including streaks that spanned seasons) is Ichiro (16 times).
ACEVES IS LOOKING LIKE A CLOSER
From Elias: Alfredo Aceves has earned saves in his last two appearances for the Red Sox, protecting one-run ninth-inning leads at Minnesota on Monday (6-5) and again on Wednesday (7-6). Before this week, Aceves had never entered a major-league game in the ninth inning (or later) with a one-run lead.
CAN'T KEEP POLANCO OFF BASE
From Elias: Placido Polanco went 3-for-3 with a pair of walks in the Phillies' win at Arizona. It was the fourth game of Polanco's career in which he had five or more plate appearances and reached base in each of them (via hit, walk or hit-by-pitch), but it was his first such game for Philadelphia. Polanco had done that once for the Cardinals (in 2002) and twice for the Tigers (2007 and 2008).
NINE HITS IN TWO GAMES FOR THE ROCKIES
From Elias: The Rockies won the first game of their doubleheader at Pittsburgh despite collecting only three hits before recording six hits in their second-game loss. It was the 40th time in franchise history that the Rockies played two games on one day, but it was the first of those doubleheaders (traditional or split) in which they produced a total of fewer than 10 hits. Colorado's previous low was exactly 10 hits in a holiday doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Giants on July 4, 2000 at San Francisco.
ALVAREZ GOES DEEP IN TWO GAMES
From Elias: Pedro Alvarez homered in both games of Pittsburgh's doubleheader split. Alvarez is the second player in the last 22 seasons to hit home runs for the Pirates in each of two games played on the same day. The other player to do that for the Bucs over that span (1991 to date) was Rob Mackowiak in two victories against the Cubs at PNC Park on May 28, 2004.
NEW CROP OF SECOND BASEMEN
From Elias: Jose Altuve went 4-for-5 and scored three runs in the Astros' 7-5 win at Milwaukee. Altuve, playing the 75th game of his big-league career, became the third second basemen to register a four-hit game this season, and the others have played even fewer major-league games than Altuve: Cleveland's Jason Kipnis and Washington's Stephen Lombardozzi.
WILK LOSES HIS FIRST THREE STARTS
From Elias: Adam Wilk allowed six runs in two innings against the Mariners and absorbed his third loss in as many starts for the Tigers. Wilk is the first Tigers pitcher to lose each of his first three major-league starts since Jeremy Bonderman in 2003.
CLOSEST SERIES EVER?
From Elias: The Capitals beat the Bruins, 2-1, in overtime to win what was arguably the closest playoff series in NHL history. It was the first series in Stanley Cup history in which all seven games were decided by a one-goal margin, and only the second series to go to overtime in Game Seven with the two teams having scored the same number of goals in the series. (Washington and Boston had each scored 15 goals in the series at the end of regulation time on Wednesday night.) The only other series in which the goals were evenly divided heading into overtime in Game Seven was the first-round matchup between the Sabres and Senators in 1997. Game Seven at "the Aud" in Buffalo went to OT tied 2-2 on the night and 13-13 in the series; Derek Plante won the game and the series for the Sabres when he beat Ron Tugnutt with a slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle 5:24 into OT.
ROOKIE GOALTENDER EARNS VICTORY IN GAME 7
From Elias: Braden Holtby made 31 saves to lead the Capitals to a 2-1 overtime victory in Game 7 of their series against the Bruins. Holtby is the seventh rookie goaltender to post an overtime win in Game 7 of a playoff series and the first since the Sabres' Steve Shields did so against Ottawa in 1997. Two Hall of Famers are among the six other rookie netminders with OT wins in a Game 7: Frank Brimsek (1939) and Patrick Roy (1986).
HUNTER STANDS ALONE IN NHL HISTORY
From Elias: Washington head coach Dale Hunter earned a unique distinction when the Capitals won Game Seven of their series against the Bruins in overtime. He's the first man in NHL history to score a Game Seven overtime goal and coach a team to a Game Seven overtime victory. Hunter scored his Game Seven overtime goal for the Capitals against the Flyers in 1988.