Jamie Moyer, 49, makes baseball history

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Jamie Moyer, 49, makes baseball history

From Comcast SportsNetDENVER (AP) -- Baseball's old man is still fending off Father Time.Jamie Moyer showed there remains a place for a vintage lefty in a young man's game as the 49-year-old became the oldest pitcher to ever win a major league contest.He threw seven strong innings and Dexter Fowler hit a two-run homer to help the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 5-3 on Tuesday night."It's a great night for the Rockies, as far as winning a baseball game. But it's an historic night for one tremendous human being," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "It couldn't happen to a better guy. A more professional person I don't know I've been around."Moyer (1-2) was sharp all evening as he picked up his 268th career win, tying him with Hall of Famer Jim Palmer for 34th on the career list.Relying on a consistent cutter and mixing in a 78-mph fastball, the crafty pitcher gave up just six hits and two runs -- both unearned -- as he kept the Padres hitters at bay and off balance."Today, for me, just like it's been my previous two starts -- going out and trying to give my best effort," Moyer said.That's been a winning recipe for Moyer over a career that's stretched nearly a quarter century and included 689 games.Anthony Bass, a pitcher half Moyer's age, went five innings and gave up three runs. Bass (0-2) also had a career-high seven strikeouts.Moyer earned that elusive win for the ages in his third start of the season. His age is 49 years, 150 days old.That's important to note since before Moyer's effort the oldest pitcher to win a game in the majors was Jack Quinn of the Brooklyn Dodgers on Sept. 13, 1932, when he was 49 years, 70 days old.Not that Moyer knows much about Quinn."I wish I was a baseball historian," Moyer said. "I'm a little embarrassed to admit that. As players, we should know more about the game, the history of the game. You need to respect the game and the people that came before you."He's definitely a part of baseball's history now.However, he doesn't think this mark will stand the test of time."The way athletes are going in today's game, I think it could be broken," he said.This game got a little dicey at the end.Rafael Betancourt survived a rocky ninth as he surrendered a solo homer to Nick Hundley and put two more runners on before striking out Yonder Alonso to earn his third save in as many chances.About the only blemish to the night were two more errors by smooth-fielding shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, giving him six already this season. The Gold Glove winner had six all of last year.His fielding error in the seventh proved quite costly and nearly spoiled Moyer's place in the record books. With two on and one out, Tulowitzki had a routine double play ball go right through his legs, leading to a run. Jason Bartlett brought in another with a sacrifice fly to right to cut the lead to 3-2.Moyer ended the threat by getting pinch hitter Jeremy Hermida to ground out to second on a 76-mph cutter.The Rockies added two insurance runs in the eighth as Michael Cuddyer doubled in a run off former Rockies closer Huston Street and Wilin Rosario added a sacrifice fly.Away from the mound, Moyer hardly looks like a kid anymore. He has gray streaks in his hair and frequently dons reading glasses that sit perched on the tip of his nose. This betrays his age too: He's on the verge of receiving his AARP card.But once he steps on the mound that youthful exuberance returns.He's transformed into a kid again, sprinting out to the mound after each inning. He looked more like a spry rookie than a veteran nearing retirement.Moyer enticed the Padres to hit into three double plays, despite warnings before the game by Mark Kotsay -- the one player who's consistently hit Moyer -- to remain patient. Then again, it's difficult to lay off a pitch that looks so juicy.The aged wonder used his wealth of experience to his advantage against the young Padres, six of whom weren't even born when Moyer made his major league debut in 1986. That included Bass, who has fond memories of Coors Field after winning his debut in the hitter friendly stadium last June.Kotsay's first plate appearance of the season was a single in the opening inning. Kotsay was activated off the disabled list on Monday after missing the first 10 games with a strained right calf muscle.That his first hit should be against Moyer hardly comes as a surprise since the 36-year-old Kotsay has a .583 lifetime average against Moyer. They even exchanged friendly grins after each of Kotsay's two singles."He wears me out. He knows it. I know it," Moyer said. "We joke in the offseason."Kotsay also has a lot of respect for Moyer."It says something about how much he loves to compete and his willingness to work, and at 49, to go out and throw the ball and have success," said Kotsay, who faced the veteran for the first time since June 13, 2006, when Kotsay was with the Oakland A's and Moyer a member of the Seattle Mariners.Before the game, Kotsay was giving pointers to his impressionable teammates on how to hit Moyer's methodical pitches."Be patiently aggressive," Andy Parrino recounted. "Make him come to us a little bit more. Oh, and make him stay in the strike zone."Moyer doesn't have a blazing fastball, but he does have this -- pinpoint precision.Padres manager Bud Black certainly appreciates the cleverness of Moyer, marveling from the dugout at the vintage pitcher who went to spring training without a guaranteed roster spot and performed his way onto the team. He missed all of 2011 as he recovered from a surgically repaired ligament in his elbow."It's a great story," Black said. "It's wonderful that he's continued to get the results needed to stay in the major leagues. This is a performance-driven game and the last 15 years of his career have been outstanding."NOTES:Padres RHP Tim Stauffer (strained elbow) threw Tuesday in San Diego. He's scheduled for a bullpen session this weekend. ... OF Carlos Gonzalez (strep throat) returned the lineup, going 0 for 2 with two walks. ... Moyer said he will donate some memorabilia to the Hall of Fame from the game.

Wonky streaks, good fortune over Cavs on the line for Bulls

Wonky streaks, good fortune over Cavs on the line for Bulls

No matter the metric or the occasion, the only thing definitive about the Bulls over the last two seasons has been their mystifying dominance over the Cleveland Cavaliers in head-to-head matchups.

That, and their fascinating streak of consecutive wins while playing at home on TNT, a streak that could end at 19 games Thursday night when the two teams with varying objectives clash at the United Center.

The Cavaliers are searching to find themselves, along with a light switch that will perhaps alert them to a lost defense over the past several weeks that has been worst in the league since the All-Star break.

The Bulls are searching for consistency, but since it's probably a little too late in the season for that, they'll settle for a playoff spot with eight games left.

They'll take two straight wins for the first time in a month, if they can get it.

They'll extend a goofy streak, if that’s what things will come down to.

"The big thing is obviously you have to execute very well against this Cleveland team," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. "You have to go out there with great urgency, great energy. I anticipate them coming in and playing with a ton of energy tomorrow. We're going to have to match that. We're going to have to come out and play physical basketball."

Having a big break between games this late in the season is a rarity, as the Bulls have been off since Sunday evening, but it's just another weird detail in this weird Bulls experience.

An experience that the mild-mannered Hoiberg has to experience from his couch some nights, such as watching the Miami Heat furiously steal a game in Detroit at the buzzer with a Hasaan Whiteside tip-in to extend a lead over his team to a game, followed by another win Wednesday to put more distance between the two teams.

"I did, actually," said Hoiberg with a smirk when asked if he's scoreboard watching and paying attention to the teams ahead of the Bulls in the playoff race.

After being prompted to give his raw emotions when Whiteside's tip-in occurred, he slipped right back to Robo-Hoiberg — although one can imagine how animated he must've been while looking to catch a break from a previous contender for the eighth spot in the Pistons.

"It is what it is," Hoiberg said. "You have to go out and worry about yourselves at this time of year. It was a great finish for Miami, obviously, the way that game ended. But there's nothing you can do about that. You've got to worry about yourselves and hopefully go out and execute."

Going 6-1 against the Cavaliers in his two seasons as Bulls coach is probably the biggest feather in his cap, including three wins in all three meetings this go round.

The rhyme or reason doesn't seem explainable, but Nikola Mirotic seemed to give a few keys to the Bulls' success over LeBron James' Cavaliers: Sharing the ball, controlling the glass and getting back on defense.

"Against big teams, we play much better," Mirotic said. "I don't know why is the reason for that. We need to find a way to play against everybody like that. It's on us. We just have to prove it."

Usually, those tenets seem to work against most teams, not just the supremely talented champions who've just lost a grip on first place in the conference.

But their inconsistencies have left the Bulls here with a handful of games left before the April 12th finale.

A win over Cleveland could mean everything, or nothing at all, or something in between.

"Sure, we understand," Mirotic said. "We've been in a very similar situation last year. We didn’t make the playoffs so this year we want to try to make that push. I think we have a good schedule for the last. Very important game tomorrow, huge one. I think we have played very well against Cleveland until now. We have a chance. We need to get out there and play with energy." 

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