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Going, Going, A-Gon
Adrian Gonzalez hit two of the Dodgers' four solo home runs in their must-win victory over the Cardinals that sent both teams packing for St. Louis and Friday's NLCS Game 6. It was the tenth time in franchise history that a Dodgers player smacked a pair of homers in a postseason game. The only other player to hit more than one home run for the Dodgers in a postseason game in which they faced elimination is Shawn Green, who homered twice in a 4-0 win against the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium in Game 3 of the 2004 Division Series. It was L.A.'s only victory in that best-of-five series.
Crawford and Gonzalez take Kelly deep
Joe Kelly finished the regular-season with a streak of 18 1/3 homerless innings and he began the postseason with 13 1/3 consecutive innings without allowing a home run. Adrian Gonzalez put an end to that with his third-inning round-tripper and Carl Crawford added another solo shot off of Kelly in the fifth inning. Crawford, who went deep three times in the NLDS, is the first player to hit as many as four home runs from the top spot of the batting order during one postseason since Philadelphia's Lenny Dykstra hit a major-league-record six homers from the leadoff spot during the 1993 NLCS (two) and World Series (four).
Greinke pitches out of first-inning jam
Zack Greinke became the first pitcher to escape the first inning of a postseason game without allowing a run after loading the bases with nobody out to begin the game since Seattle's John Halama did it against the Yankees in Game 2 of the 2000 ALCS. St. Louis hasn't scored a first-inning run in any of its ten playoff games this year. During the 2013 regular season, the Cardinals never went more than nine straight games without scoring during the first frame.
Leyland looks like a genius
The Tigers exploded for five runs in the second inning of their 7-3 win at Comerica Park after Jim Leyland juggled their starting lineup. Austin Jackson was dropped from first to eighth in Detroit's batting order with Torii Hunter assuming the leadoff spot, ahead of Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez, in that order. Cabrera and Fielder have started together for the Tigers in 308 regular-season games and 21 previous postseason games; Cabrera and Fielder occupied the third and fourth batting order positions, respectively, in each of those games.
Detroit starters in a league of their own
Doug Fister allowed one run and struck out seven batters in six innings in Game 4. Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Fister have combined to allow only three runs in 27 innings in the ALCS. Their average of one run allowed per nine innings pitched is the second-lowest for any starting staff through the first four games of a League Championship Series, bested only by the average of 0.66 runs per nine innings allowed by Detroit starters in their four-game sweep of the Yankees in last year's ALCS (two runs in 27 1/3 innings). Their total of 42 strikeouts in this year's ALCS tops the list for a team's starters through the first four games of any postseason series.
Lundqvist ties Giacomin's franchise record
Henrik Lundqvist posted his first shutout of the season and the 46th regular-season shutout of his NHL career with a 2-0 win at Washington on Wednesday. Lundqvist has registered shutouts in each of the nine seasons he's played for the Rangers, which ties Ed Giacomin's franchise record for consecutive seasons with clean sheets. Giacomin's streak began in 1966-67 and ran through the 1974-75 season.