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LAst Night's Action: Lackey Not Lacking

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LA Angels defeat Toronto Blue Jays 3-1. Angel's start John Lackey pitched a masterful game against the Chicago White Sox in his season debut on the 14th but didn't get the win. So Lackey came out Tuesday night and pitched just as well giving up one run on seven hits in seven innings while the bullpen pulled through to give him his first win. Things got interesting in the ninth inning when Angel's closer Francisco Rodriguez walked three to load the bases and went 3-0 on Alex Rios. Rodriguez got Rios to strike out on the next three pitches to end the game. Angel's shortstop Erick Aybar left the game in the first inning after dislocating his pinky while fielding Alex Rios' grounder. A trip to the DL might be in the future for him.

LA Dodgers defeat Cincinnati Reds 4-1. Both starters Chad Billingsley and Matt Belisle had great starts though Belisle was plagued by his defense not making the plays. Notably in the second inning the Reds forced Belisle to pitch for six outs. Although all two runs that scored that inning were earned, if the Reds converted some of the plays that were handed to them the game would have been scoreless going into the seventh inning. A very interesting note about this game: every hit was a single. Meanwhile Vin Scully continued to harp about Red's manager and former Dodger great Dusty Baker chewing on a toothpick.

Notable Notes

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The NBA draft lottery was Tuesday night during halftime of the Boston Celtics-Detroit Pistons game, and while Jay-Z's presence for the New Jersey Nets didn't help them the Chicago Bulls got the balls. They will have the first pick in the draft despite having the ninth worst record. The team with the worst record Miami Heat will pick second. Rounding out the top five picks are the Minnesota Timberwolves, Seattle Supersonics and Memphis Grizzlies. The Clippers will pick seventh.

On Monday, the NFL owners announced to the players union they would opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement in 2011. While this did not come as a surprise, it could have some very interesting consequences. Namely if no agreement is reached by the 2010 season, the salary cap will go away for that season. The NFL Player's Association president Gene Upshaw has gone on the record saying that once the salary cap goes away the players will not vote for a salary cap again. Of course it remains to be seen whether Upshaw will last that long as the league's treatment of veterans and their lack of benefits have made current players very unhappy at Upshaw.

Getting back to local stuff, Mike Piazza announced Tuesday he was officially retiring from baseball, the Padres look like they will have a fire sale soon and the Dodgers place back-up catcher Gary Bennett on the 15-day DL with a bum foot.

Tonight's Action

San Antonio Spurs at LA Lakers. Game one of the Western Conference Finals start at the Staples Center. Note the early start. 6:00 pm TNT, AM 570 KLAC.

Cincinnati Reds at LA Dodgers. In a battle of beleaguered pitchers, Johnny Cueto gets the start for the Reds against Hiroki Kuroda. 7:10 pm KCAL9, AM 790 KABC.

LA Angels at Toronto Blue Jays. Jon Garland goes to the mound against Shaun Marcum. 4:07 pm KCOP 13, AM 830 KLAA.

AP Photo by Aaron Harris