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Mitch's Sports Report: Leon Saves Red Sox Again; Bruins Avoid Caps Thanks To Leafs Loss In Finale

Happy outcome and some retribution for Sergio Garcia, who won the Masters Golf tournament yesterday for the first time, and for his first ever major championship win at age 37.

Garcia won a playoff against Justin Rose and finished with a 9-under par to earn the Green Jacket. Garcia has consistently been one of the world’s best players, but had been plagued by a number of late match collapses in past major tournaments. He overcame bogeys on holes 10 and 11 yesterday to rally for the win, putting an exclamation point on the victory with a birdie on the first playoff hole, dropping to his knees and happily striking the green with his first in triumph.

The Boston Red Sox avoided a third straight defeat in Detroit and got their first road win of the young season yesterday, holding on for a 7-5 win over the Tigers.

Rick Porcello didn’t have his best stuff against his old team yesterday, but pitched well enough and long enough to keep the Red Sox close enough to come from behind and get the win. Porcello pitched into the 7th and left trailing 3-2 , but the Red Sox tied things up in the seventh and then scored four times in the eighth, thanks chiefly to a bases-loaded single by Sandy Leon, who’s been the unexpected star on offense early in the year, having already hit a walk-off home run in game two against the Pirates. He’s also been stellar behind the plate, having yet to allow a stolen base against him.

Craig Kimbrel got the save in the 9th, but not without first making Red Sox long for the days of the nearly automatic Koji Uehara. Kimbrel had a three run lead to work with, but walked the first two batters he saw and gave up one run before finally relying on his 98-99 mile per hour fastball to put the game away.

Great pitching match-up in the finale today as Chris Sale gets his first road start for Boston against Justin Verlander for Detroit. The Red Sox will also be anxiously awaiting news about Jackie Bradley Jr.’s knew. JBJ was sent back to Boston to get a closer look at some swelling in the knee, which he injured rounding first base a couple of games ago. The stand out center fielder is hoping to avoid a stint on the disabled list and so is all of Red Sox Nation.

The NY Yankees avoided a sweep by the Baltimore Orioles, scoring four times in the 9th to beat the Birds 7-3 at Camden yards. Aaron Judge hit a game tying home run in the 8th and the Yanks opened the flood gates the next inning, an RBI single by Starlin Castro accounting for the game winning hit. Dellin Betances worked the 8th and Aroldis Chapman picked up the save in the 9th.

An extra day of rest to let a finger blister heal did the trick for Noah Syndergaard. The Mets aced was pushed back one start but was back on the hill yesterday to flummox the Miami Marlins in a 5-2 win. Thor dropped the hammer to strike out nine and gave up just two runs- one earned -and five hits over seven innings. Jay Bruce homered for the Mets in the win.

Not sure what’s wrong with the Toronto Blue Jays, a team that was picked by a lot of baseball experts to vie for the AL east division title this year. It’s very early, of course, but the Jays are just 1-5 after a 7-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday.

The NHL playoff match-ups are finally set, and it wasn’t so until the very last game of the season, one that members of the Boston Bruins likely watched with a measure of relief, even if they’d never admit it.

The Toronto Maple Leafs needed just a tie or a win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at home last night in their regular season finale to lock down third place in the Atlantic and open the playoffs against the Ottawa Senators, instead of finishing in the second wild card spot and having to face the best record in the league Washington Capitals. It looked good for the Leafs early with James Van Riemsdyk scoring twice for a 2-0 lead, but the Blue Jackets came back to score three unanswered for a 3-2 win, and so the young Leafs have a date with Alex Ovechkin and the president’s trophy winning Capitals in round one instead of a battle of Ontario with the Senators.

The Bruins draw Ottawa instead and while they like that match up better, they will still be underdogs in the series, having gone winless against Ottawa in the regular season, and dealing with injuries to two critical defenseman. No word yet on whether Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo will be able to go when the playoffs start, but without both, Boston’s chances of winning the series are about likely as the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad winning a Clio. The two stalwart Bruins defensemen have until Wednesday to rest up, when the Bruins open the best of seven series in Ottawa. Also on Wednesday night, the Montreal Canadiens begin their bid for a 25th Stanley Cup hosting the NY Rangers in what should be an incredible opening round series.

The Vermont Shamrocks have a shot at becoming national hockey champions today. The team made up of girls from around Vermont is playing the title game this morning in the Tier II Under 16 girls’ tournament in Troy, Michigan after a rout of Utah 15-0 on Saturday.

The Shamrocks will face off against the Alaska North Stars later this morning. Puck drop is just before 11am. The Shamrocks have beaten the North Stars once already this tournament and if they can do so again today they’ll win the Tier II crown, which would mark the third in Shamrocks history.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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