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Mitch's Sports: Bucks Force Game Seven Against Celtics; Martinez Blast Saves Sale In Red Sox Win

Just like their hockey counterparts, the Boston Celtics will need to win a game seven at home if they want to advance beyond the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Celts couldn't put the Milwaukee Bucks away in game six last night, losing 97-86 in large part because Milwaukee superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Greek Freak, as he's known in Milwaukee, scored 31 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in game six, continuing a pattern in which each team has won games only on their own home court. Game seven is Saturday night in Boston. Jason Tatum led the Celtics with 22 points in the losing effort last night.

Two years after taking over the reigns as head coach of the University of Vermont women;'s basketball team, coach Chris Day is leaving the job. The Burlington Free Press reports Day is resigning and will be replaced on an interim basis for next season by by Alisa Kresge, who served as associate head coach under Day for the last two years.

Day said the decision was based on his desire to return to Philadelphia. UVM would not elaborate on a press release that thanked Day for his tenure the past two seasons, but earlier this month UVM Athletic Director Jeff Schulman told the Free Press that the school was reviewing  reports of an investigation into Day's verbal conduct as coach. UVM officials, however, would not comment beyond the statement issued in the press release.

Moving to major league baseball, Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale put up a line that would be respectable for most any other pitcher, but not up to his own usual standards of greatness.

Sale allowed three runs and four hits in six innings against the Toronto Blue Jays, including home runs to Justin Smoak and Devon Travis. But trailing 3-2 heading into the top of the fifth, Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez secured Sale's second win of the year when he blasted one of his patented opposite field home runs to right, a three-run shot off Marco Estrada that just cleared the fence. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his seventh save as the Sox took the game 5-4, taking two out of three from Toronto and finishing their nine game road trip at 6-3.

The Minnesota Twins probably peeled some rubber getting the team bus out of the Bronx. The visit to the Stadium was inhospitable for the Twins to say the least as the Yankees polished off a four game sweep with a dramatic walk-off 3-run homer in the bottom of the 9th by Gary Sanchez to beat the Twins 4-3. The Yanks trailed 3-0 but made it 3-1 with a sac fly and then a throwing error in the 9th by Miguel Sano allowed Didi Gregorius to reach. The bad fortune continued for the Twins when Giancarlo Stanton hit an "excuse me" swinging bunt slow roller that allowed him to reach, setting the stage for Sanchez' three-run bomb off closer Fernando Rodney. Make it six wins in a row for the Yankees and a seven game losing skid for the Twins.  

The NY Mets had two leads on the Cardinals in St. Louis, including a one-run advantage in the top of the 10th, but couldn't hold on and eventually lost their second straight to the Cards in the bottom of the 13th when Dexter Fowler singled in the walk-off winner for a 4-3 St. Louis victory. Mets closer Jeurys Familia blew a save for the third time in 12 chances when Jose Martinez singled home Tommy Pham to tie the game after Pham had doubled in the bottom of the 10th.

To the Stanley Cup playoffs, and if there's one thing that's held true over the years when the Washington Capitals take on the Pittsburgh Penguins, it's that things will end badly for the Caps. And so it was in game one last night when the Penguins fell behind by two goals going into the third period and then exploded for three straight goals in a span of just under five minutes to beat the Caps 3-2 in front of a stunned crowd in the nation's capitol. Patric Hornqvist, Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel all lit the lamp to erase that two goal hole, and you can practically hear the groans of despair from the Capitals faithful, who have seen this movie too many times before and probably want their money back.   

Out west, the San Jose Sharks didn't show much interest in slowing the juggernaut that has become the greatest expansion team in any sports ever, the Las Vegas Golden Knights. The Knights tore the Sharks to shreds 7-0 in game one last night, scoring four goals in the first and never looking back. Veteran goalie Marc Andre Fleury secured his third shut-out of the playoffs and 13th for his career.   

Finally, in round one of the NFL draft, the NY Giants had the second overall pick and selected Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. The NY Jets had the third overall pick and are hoping to finally address their biggest need, a franchise quarterback, and they're banking on USC signal caller Sam Darnold to be that guy. The New England Patriots had two picks in the first round. with the 23rd overall they chose Guard Isaiah Wynn out of Georgia, a move to deal with the loss of tackle Nate Solder, and with the 31st pick they took Wynn's Bulldogs teammate running back Sony Michel to offset the departure of the versatile Dion Lewis, who signed with Tennessee in the off season. Quarterback baker Mayfield out of Oklahoma was the number one overall pick for the Cleveland Browns.

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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