Date: May 30, 2012

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN.com

NBA

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Durant

HIGH-FLYING SPURS OVERCOME OKC'S BIG THREE

From Elias: The Spurs defeated the Thunder, 120-111, to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals. It was the second-highest scoring non-overtime playoff game during Gregg Popovich's 16 seasons as an NBA head coach (all with San Antonio). The Spurs and Suns combined for 235 points in San Antonio's 121-114 win during the 2005 Western Conference Finals.

Kevin Durant (31 points), James Harden (30), and Russell Westbrook (27) became the first set of three teammates all to score more than 25 points in a 48-minute playoff game since 1995. The last players to do so were Kenny Smith (32), Clyde Drexler (30), and Hakeem Olajuwon (27) of the Rockets in a 140-126 first-round win over the Jazz.

San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder

MLB

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Verlander

RED SOX FINALLY SURPASS .500 MARK

From Elias: The Red Sox improved to 25-24 with a 6-3 win over Justin Verlander and the Tigers, marking the first time this season that Boston has had a winning record. But that wasn't for a lack of opportunity. The Sox had lost six previous games in which they had a chance to climb above the .500 mark, one short of the longest losing streak of that type to begin a season in American League history. The 1914 Red Sox lost the first seven games for which they had a .500 record before breaking through in early June en route to a 91-62 final record and a second-place finish in the AL.

Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers

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Hefner

HEFNER'S NIGHT TO REMEMBER

From Elias: What a night it was for Mets rookie Jeremy Hefner, who not only earned his first major-league victory but also homered on his only at-bat. We wish Hefner a better fate than Dennis Tankersley, the last player to record his first home run and his first win in the same game. Tankersley, who did so for the Padres in 2002, never won another game or hit another homer in his big-league career. Among the other players to do it were a pair of Hall of Famers: Hoyt Wilhelm (1952) and Jim Palmer (1965).

New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies

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Bailey

BAILEY DOMINATES PIRATES

From Elias: Homer Bailey improved his record against the Pirates to 6-0 with a four-hit complete-game win at Pittsburgh. Bailey has completed only two of his 88 major-league starts, and both have come against the Pirates at PNC Park. He has a 1.79 ERA in eight starts versus Pittsburgh.

Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates

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Pettitte

PUJOLS TAKES PETTITTE DEEP FOR FIRST TIME

From Elias: Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer off Andy Pettitte in the Angels' win over the Yankees. It was Pujols' first home run in 25 at-bats versus Pettitte. Only two other active pitchers have kept Pujols in the park having faced him as often as Pettitte has: Johnny Cueto and Bud Norris (26 AB vs. each).

Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees

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Jones

JONES BELTS 10 HOMERS DURING MAY

From Elias: Adam Jones hit a pair of home runs in the Orioles' 8-6 loss at Toronto. Jones has hit 16 homers this season, including 10 during the month of May. That matched the highest home-run total by an Orioles player in one calendar month over the last 10 years. Nick Markakis hit 10 home runs in August 2006 and Miguel Tejada hit 10 in August 2007.

Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays

MARLINS POST 20TH VICTORY OF MONTH

From Elias: The Marlins rallied for a 3-1 win over the Nationals, improving their record to 20-8 since May 1, thereby setting a team record for victories in one calendar month. The previous mark was set in August 1997, when the Marlins posted a 19-10 mark.

Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals

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Russell

A FAMILY OF FIREFIGHTERS

From Elias: James Russell recorded the first save of his major-league career in the Cubs' 5-3 win over the Padres. Russell's father, Jeff, saved 186 games during a 14-season career (1983-1996), leading the AL with 38 saves in 1989 and ranking among the league's top 10 in every season from 1991 through 1995. The Russells are the fourth father and son who each saved at least one game in the majors. The others were Julio and Jaime Navarro, Pedro Borbon Sr. and Jr., and Steve and Jason Grilli.

Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres

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Humber

HUMBER FINALLY WINS ANOTHER

From Elias: Philip Humber allowed two runs over seven innings to earn the victory in the White Sox' 7-2 win over the Rays. It was Humber's first victory in seven appearances since he pitched a perfect game on April 21. Only two other pitchers endured a winless streak that long immediately following a perfecto, and both were recent: Mark Buehrle (8 games in 2009) and Dallas Braden (9 games in 2010).

Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays

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Moustakas

MOUSTAKAS CLEANS UP FROM THE NUMBER-FOUR SLOT

From Elias: Mike Moustakas drove in four runs in the Royals' 8-2 win at Cleveland. It was only the second time in the last two seasons that Kansas City's starting cleanup hitter produced at least four RBI. Eric Hosmer had a four-RBI game from the number-four slot last July.

Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians

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Molina

MOLINA RECORDS ANOTHER FOUR-HIT GAME

From Elias: Yadier Molina went 4-for-4 with a home run in the Cardinals' 5-4 loss at Atlanta. It was Molina's third four-hit game already this season, the most by a Cardinals catcher in more than 30 years-since Ted Simmons finished the 1980 season with three four-hit games.

St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves

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Hamilton

HAMILTON MAINTAINS TEAM-RECORD HOME-RUN PACE

From Elias: Josh Hamilton hit his 21st home run of the season in the Rangers' 10-3 loss to the Mariners. Hamilton is the first player in team history to exceed 20 homers by the end of May. The previous high was 19 by Frank Howard of the Washington Senators in 1968.

Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners

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Willingham

WILLINGHAM'S WALK-OFF ERASES 2-0 DEFICIT

From Elias: Josh Willingham hit a three-run home run in the ninth inning to give the Twins a 3-2 win over the A's. It was the first time since 1995 that a Minnesota player erased a deficit of two or more runs with a walk-off homer. The last Twins player to do so was Kirby Puckett with a three-run blast in a 7-6 win over the Mariners.

Minnesota Twins, Oakland Athletics


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