5 Things For May 5th: Avilia hits 2nd HR of Weekend as Tigers Sweep Royals
1. It is only May, but any time you can sweep the biggest threat in your division and bury them a little deeper in the standings it is a good thing. The Tigers were able to do that to Kansas City yesterday with a 9-4 win.
Alex Avila is an extremely important bat for the Tigers, and he showed some power over the weekend. He hit a home run over the right-centerfield fence of the cavernous Kauffman Stadium on Friday, and he hit a home run to center yesterday.
Justin Verlander had a no-hitter broken up by Billy Butler in the 6th inning. He ended up pitching seven innings and giving up three earned runs. Nick Castellanos hit his fourth home run of the season. Rajai Davis and Torii Hunter had three hits a piece.
Detroit moved to 17-9 on the season, and holds a 4.5 game lead in the division. They have a great chance to extend that lead this week, because they will host lowly Houston in a four game home series that starts tonight. Max Scherzer takes the ball for Detroit tonight.
2. The final two NBA games of the first round were yesterday. One of them went right down to the wire. The Raptors had the ball down one against the Nets as time expired, and Kyle Lowry had a chance to give his team the win:
That was Paul Pierce with the block, and it gave the Nets a 104-103 win. They will play Miami in the second round.
The other game seven was much more lopsided. The Spurs blewout the Mavericks 119-96. Tony Parker had 32 points to lead San Antonio.
3. The Chicago Blackhawks grabbed a 2-0 lead in their series over the Minnesota Wild. Minnesota never had a chance in this series, but as long as Ilya Bryzgalov continues to play in net they might get swept. Bryan Bickell and Marian Hossa each had three points for the Hawks.
The Penguins got goals from Kris Letang, Jussi Jokinen and Evgeni Malkin to get a win over the Rangers.
More importantly, they got a great performance from their goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The talented but inconsistent goalie is the biggest key for the Pens in this series, and he came up big yesterday with a 22-save shutout. The Rangers are a very sound defensive team, and will not let Pittsburgh's skill players get loose. Pittsburgh will have to win games 2-0, 2-1 and 3-2. They need solid goaltending to do that.
4. In baseball, Reds outfielder Jay Bruce will have knee surgery this week, and will be out 3-4 weeks afterwards. Yasiel Puig passed his concussion tests, and is day-to-day after crashing into a wall. Matt Cain also went to the DL for the Giants.
5. On Saturday, California Chrome won the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Steve Miller is on-air from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. producing ‘Mad Dog in the Morning’ on The Game 730 AM. Follow him on Twitter @SteveMilllerWVFN.