Special to ESPN.com
FREE THROW SHOOTING A BIG FACTOR IN GAME 3 OF THE NBA FINALS
From Elias: The Heat shot 31-for-35 from the free throw line (88.6 percent) while the Thunder were just 15-for-24 from the charity stripe (62.5 percent) in Miami's Game 3 victory in the NBA Finals on Sunday night. That 261 percentage point differential in free throw percentage was the largest in an NBA Finals game in which both teams had at least 20 attempts since June 6, 2001, when the 76ers shot .920 from the line compared to the Lakers' .556 free-throw percentage in a Philadelphia victory in overtime.
BATTIER IS CONNECTING FROM DOWNTOWN
From Elias: Shane Battier made two more three-point field goals in Miami's Game 3 victory over the Thunder on Sunday night, giving him 11 makes from beyond the arc through the first three games of the NBA Finals series. Since the NBA instituted the three-point shot in 1979, only one other player has made as many as 11 three-pointers in the first three games of an NBA Finals series: Orlando's Rashard Lewis in 2009 (11).
NINE STRAIGHT WINS AGAINST WINNING TEAMS FOR YANKEES
From Elias: The Yankees ran their winning streak to nine consecutive games with a 4-1 victory over the Nationals in Washington on Sunday afternoon. Each of the Yankees' nine wins during their streak has come against teams with a winning record: three each against the Mets, Braves and Nationals. This marks the first time in the Yankees' franchise history that they have won nine consecutive games, all against teams with a winning record. The last major league team with a winning streak of that type was the Blue Jays, who won 10 straight games, all against teams above .500, in 2008.
ALVAREZ HITS TWO HOMERS IN SECOND STRAIGHT GAME
From Elias: Pedro Alvarez followed up his two homer, three RBI performance with two home runs and six runs batted in during the Pirates win over the Indians on Sunday. It is the second time that Alvarez has had multiple home runs in consecutive games in his career (he also had two homers on July 20th and 21st in 2010). Only one other Pirates player has had two-or-more home runs in consecutive games multiple times: Ralph Kiner (three times: twice in 1947 and once in 1949).
TIGERS ROOKIE HAS A BERRY GOOD FATHERS DAY
From Elias: Rookie Quintin Berry went 5-for-5 to help lead the Tigers to a 5-0 win over the Rockies on Sunday afternoon. Berry is only the fifth Tigers rookie over the last 80 years to have a perfect day at the plate with at least five hits. The others were Red Borom on September 1, 1945, Jake Wood on August 8, 1961, Curtis Granderson on September 18, 2005 and Austin Jackson on April 30, 2010 (all were 5-for-5).
CECIL SNAPS LOSING STREAK
From Elias: Brett Cecil allowed only two runs in five innings of work and earned his first victory since last July in Toronto's win over the Phillies on Sunday afternoon. Cecil entered Sunday's action having lost his last seven decisions, which was tied with Jhoulys Chacin and Scott Feldman for the longest current streak in starts among active pitchers.
WALKING PITCHER WITH BASES LOADED IS CUETO'S ONLY BLEMISH
From Elias: Johnny Cueto allowed only one run over seven innings and earned the victory in the Reds' 3-1 win over the Mets at Citi Field on Sunday afternoon. The only run that Cueto allowed came on a bases-loaded walk to Mets pitcher Chris Young in the second inning. Over the last 30 years, only three other pitchers have allowed one run in 7+ innings of work with the only run allowed coming on a bases-loaded walk to a pitcher: Arizona's Miguel Batista on May 3, 2006 (walked Greg Maddux), Pittsburgh's Oliver Perez on September 22, 2004 (walked Carlos Zambrano) and Cincinnati's Mike Remlinger on September 17, 1997 (walked Marc Valdes).
CHEN WINS FOR SEVENTH TIME
From Elias: Rookie Wei-Yin Chen hurled seven shutout innings and earned his seventh victory of the season in the Orioles' 2-0 win over the Braves on Sunday afternoon. Only two other Orioles rookies have registered at least seven wins as a starting pitcher prior to July 1: Tom Phoebus (1967) and Wally Bunker (1964).
FIRST GAME-ENDING RBI FOR SPAN
From Elias: Denard Span's RBI single with two outs in the 15th inning drove in the winning run in the Twins 5-4 win over the Brewers on Sunday afternoon. It was the first time that Span has had a game-ending RBI in his career. Entering Sunday's action, Span's 204 career RBI were tied with the Cubs' Ian Stewart for the third most among active players that never had one that ended a game, behind Arizona's Miguel Montero (278) and Detroit's Gerald Laird (208).
TWO STRAIGHT DAYS WITH MULTIPLE 14+ INNING GAMES IN MLB
From Elias: There were two MLB games that ended after 15 innings on Sunday (Milwaukee vs. Minnesota and St. Louis vs. Kansas City) and there were two games that went at least 14 innings on Saturday. This marks the first time in major-league history that there were multiple games that lasted at least 14 innings on consecutive days.
BETANCOURT HITS GO-AHEAD HOMER IN 15TH INNING
From Elias: Yuniesky Betancourt hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the top of the 15th inning to lead the Royals to a 5-3 win over the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. It was the 64th career home run for Betancourt, but the first he has ever hit in the 8th inning or later to give his team a lead.
ANOTHER GEM BY AN ANGELS STARTER
From Elias: Garrett Richards did not allow a run in eight innings of work in the Angels 2-0 win over the Diamondbacks on Sunday. Richards' performance followed Ervin Santana's shutout of Arizona on Saturday, marking the second time that Angels' starting pitchers have pitched at least eight shutout innings in consecutive games this season (Jerome Williams and Jared Weaver each hurled shutouts in consecutive games in May). Prior to 2012, the Angels had back-to-back pitching performance of that kind only once over the 15 previous seasons, done by Scot Shields (8 IP) and John Lackey (9 IP) on September 23rd and 24th in 2003.
SMOAK COMES THROUGH IN THE NINTH INNING
From Elias: Justin Smoak drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning in the Mariners' 2-1 victory over the Giants on Sunday. It was Smoak's first RBI in the ninth inning or later this season. Smoak's 30 at bats from the ninth inning on were the second most for any player without an RBI after the eighth inning this season behind Baltimore's Robert Andino (33) entering Sunday's action.
ANOTHER SEVEN-RUN INNING FOR THE RANGERS
From Elias: The Rangers scored seven runs in the sixth inning en-route to a 9-3 victory over the Astros on Sunday afternoon. It marked the fifth time this season that the Rangers have scored at least seven runs in an inning. That is already more seven-run innings than Texas produced over the prior two seasons combined. The Ranges had only five innings with seven-or-more runs spanning the 2010 and 2011 seasons (two in 2010; three in 2011).