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LAst Night's Action: Twins Payback Angels

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Minnesota Twins (1-1) defeat LA Angels (1-1) 5-3. Joe Saunders had been 10-1 in April with a 2.51 ERA. The Twins obviously didn’t really give a shit. Twins catcher Joe Mauer bashed a fast ball served to him down the middle out past the center field wall in the first inning with Orlando Hudson on to give the Twins a quick 2-0 lead. Delmon Young would hit a scoring fly ball that brought in Justin Morneau later in the inning for the 3-0 lead. Morneau would add a homer of his own in the third inning for a 4-0 lead which Angels center fielder Torii Hunter responded to with an RBI single in the bottom frame. After JJ Hardy homered to give the Twins a 5-1 lead, Hunter who was a triple shy of the cycle homered with Erick Aybar on base to bring the Angels to within two. Jon Rauch came in and got the save for the Twins, but it took 13 pitches Maicer Izturis and Aybar out after Brandon Wood struck out on three pitches.

Joe Saunders (L, 0-1): 5 innings, 8 hits, 5 earned runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 1 wild pitch, 3 homers.
Nick Blackburn (W, 1-0): 6 2/3 innings, 8 hits, 3 earned runs, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts, 1 homer.

LA Kings defeat Anaheim Ducks 5-4 (SO). For the second consecutive game the Ducks and Kings went to a shootout, however this game seemed more improbable for the Kings. The Ducks came back from a 1-0 deficit late in the third period Saturday night to get a Saku Koivu goal in the shootout. This time the Kings came back from a 4-1 deficit in the second period to take the game to overtime. Early in the second period Kings goalie Jonathan Quick played a loose puck behind the net to give Anze Kopitar to play. But Bobby Ryan stole the puck and shot it in the net before Quick could get back in the crease giving the Ducks the 3-0 lead 2:01 in the second period. Kings head coach Terry Murray pulled Quick after the next dead puck in favor of Eric Ersberg.

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But the Kings came back with goals from Alexander Frolov and Justin Williams that culminated when Michal Handzus scored the tying goal with 1:09 left in the game just a second after Ersberg was pulled for a sixth attacker. Both goalies did a great job in overtime as shots were raining like frogs in a plague to send the game to a shootout. In the shootout, Kopitar scored the winning goal in the third frame of the shootout to eliminate the Ducks from postseason contention. Meanwhile after clinching a playoff spot on Sunday after Calgary lost to Colorado the Kings are now in sixth place in the Western Conference with 97 points, the most points they have earned since the 102 they notched in the 1990-91 season.

Jonathan Quick: 3 goals/8 shots. 22:49 played.
Eric Ersberg (W, 3-3-2): 1 goal/13 shots. 42:10 played.

Curtis McElhinney (L, 8-4-2): 4 goals/40 shots. 65:00 played.

Notable Notes

  • This may not come as a surprise, but it looks like Lakers’ center Andrew Bynum will most likely not return during the final five games of the regular season with a strained left Achilles’ tendon. That in and of itself shouldn’t be as bad as last season when he missed almost half a season with a bad knee before making his return in the postseason. That means that Lamar Odom remains in the starting lineup giving the bench no anchor. We have all seen the bench do their wonders as of late being outscored by opposing benches 131-57 in the last four games.
  • Connecticut women’s basketball team continued their dominance and defeated Stanford 53-47 in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. On their road to winning 78 consecutive games, this was the first time they have won a game with a margin less than ten points. In fact with Stanford leading 20-12 at halftime, it marked only the second time Connecticut trailed at halftime in that streak. It just happened to be against Stanford this past December 23. But the Huskies went on a 17-2 run after the half to take the lead for good and give UConn their second consecutive undefeated season. They are now 10 wins away from the mark of 88 consecutive wins set by John Wooden’s UCLA teams from 1971-1974.

Tonight’s Action

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LA Dodgers (0-1) at Pittsburgh Pirates (1-0). Clayton Kershaw (0-0) vs. Ross Ohlendorf (0-0). 4:05 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 790 KABC.

Minnesota Twins (1-1) at LA Angels (1-1). Carl Pavano (0-0) vs. Ervin Santana (0-0). 7:05 pm FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.

Portland Trail Blazers at LA Clippers. 7:30 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 980 KFWB.