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MAVS TOP HEAT IN THIRD STRAIGHT SINGLE-POSSESSION GAME
From Elias: The Mavericks evened their NBA Finals series at two games each with an 86-83 win over the Heat. That was the third straight game of the series decided by three points or less. There were only two other league finals in which three consecutive games were won by a margin of no more than three points, and both were played in the 1940s in the BAA (the predecessor or the NBA): the Philadelphia Warriors vs. the Chicago Stags in 1947, and the Warriors vs. the Baltimore Bullets in 1948.
BREAKING NEWS: NOWITZKI MISSES A FOUL SHOT
From Elias: Dirk Nowitzki's free-throw streak ended in the third quarter of Tuesday's game after he had hit his first 26 foul shots in the series. That was the longest free-throw streak in an NBA Finals series since Clyde Drexler made 28 in a row for the Trail Blazers against the Bulls in 1992.
JACKSON'S PLAYING EXPERIENCE IS UNPRECEDENTED
From Elias: Mark Jackson, who was hired Monday as coach of the Warriors, has played 1,296 NBA games. That's more than any other player who later coached in the league. The previous high total for a coach-to-be was 1274 regular-season NBA games by Terry Porter.
DODGERS ROOKIES STAR IN FIRST MAJOR-LEAGUE STARTS
From Elias: A pair of rookies, each making his first major-league start, led the Dodgers' to a 6-2 win at Philadelphia. Dee Gordon went 3-for-5 and Rubby De La Rosa allowed one run in five innings for the victory. It was the first time since 1958 that a player collected at least three hits in his first start in support of a teammate who won his first MLB start in the same game, and it last happened in the 10th game that the LA Dodgers played after moving from Brooklyn. Norm Larker went 3-for-5 and Fred Kipp pitched into the eighth inning in a 5-3 win over the Cardinals at the LA Memorial Coliseum.
GONZALEZ'S HOMER IS THE DIFFERENCE IN 1-0 WIN
From Elias: Alex Gonzalez hit a fourth-inning home run in the Braves' 1-0 victory at Florida. Gonzalez homered in a 1-0 win once previously, as a 21-year-old rookie for the Marlins in 1998. In that instance, Gonzalez came to the plate with a .143 batting average (11-for-77).
HAND MAKES ONE MISTAKE IN DEBUT, BUT IT'S COSTLY
From Elias: Brad Hand was the hard-luck loser for the Marlins, suffering a defeat despite allowing just one hit. Only one other starting pitcher in modern major-league history - that is, since 1900 - lost his MLB debut despite allowing only one hit in at least three innings: Mike Thompson of the Washington Senators on May 19, 1971. But Thompson could hardly be considered a victim of bad luck, having walked nine batters in a 4-1 loss to the Orioles.
WHAT ARE THE ODDS ON THIS EXACTA?
From Elias: The other Tribe also posted a 1-0 victory when the Indians defeated the Twins at Cleveland. It was the 13,137th time that the Braves and Indians played on the same day, but the first on which both teams won by a 1-0 score.
REYES' TRIPLE IS GAME-WINNER FOR METS
From Elias: Among the many things Jose Reyes has done well this season, two of them are hit triples and hit well in the clutch. So it was no surprise that Reyes delivered a two-run, game-winning triple in the seventh inning of the Mets' 2-1 victory at Milwaukee. Reyes now has 11 triples this season, the most in his team's first 60 games since Curtis Granderson hit 12 triples in the Tigers' first 60 games in 2007.
Reyes is batting .500 in Late-Inning Pressure Situations (16-for-32), the highest mark in the majors this season (minimum: 20 at-bats).
PAPELBON HANGS ON FOR MILESTONE SAVE
From Elias: It wasn't a masterpiece, but Jonathan Papelbon recorded the 200th save of his major-league career in the Red Sox' 6-4 win at Yankee Stadium. It was Papelbon's 356th relief appearance; only one pitcher reached the 200-save mark in fewer games as a reliever than Papelbon: Dennis Eckersley (324).
Papelbon entered the game with a three-run lead, but he allowed one run and had the potential tying run at the plate when he struck out Alex Rodriguez to end the game. It was the fourth time this season that Papelbon earned a save in a game in which he was charged with a run or allowed an inherited runner to score, tying Leo Nunez of the Marlins for the most in the majors.
LESTER EXTENDS WINNING STREAK VS. YANKEES
From Elias: Jon Lester allowed three runs over six innings to earn the victory in the Red Sox' win. Lester became the first Boston pitcher to win five consecutive starts against the Yankees since Reggie Cleveland did it from 1975 to 1977.
BERKMAN MASHES HIS EX-MATES
From Elias: Lance Berkman hit his third home run in five games against the Astros, as the Cardinals posted a 7-4 win at Houston. Berkman is 9-for-18 with nine RBIs in his five games against Houston. With nine games still remaining between St. Louis and Houston in 2011, Berkman is the first player to hit three homers in a season against the Astros a year after playing for them since Moises Alou did it in 2002.
ARENCIBIA HITS DOUBLE-FIGURES
From Elias: J.P. Arencibia hit his 10th home run in the Blue Jays' 8-5 win at Kansas City, which was Toronto's 61st game of the season. Over the last 15 years, the only other catcher to reach the 10-HR mark as fast as Arencibia was Geovany Soto with the Cubs in 2008. Soto hit his 10th homer in the Cubs' 59th game.
HE MIGHT NOT BE RIPKEN, BUT HARDY PROVIDES SOME POP
From Elias: J.J. Hardy hit his fifth home run of the season in the Orioles' 4-0 win over the A's. It has taken Hardy only 32 games to hit more home runs than any Baltimore shortstop hit in any of the previous three seasons. The last O's shortstop with even five home runs in a season was Miguel Tejada (18 in 2007).
REDS CONTINUE DOMINATION OF CUBS
From Elias: The Reds defeated the Cubs, 8-2, for their 16th victory in their last 19 games against Chicago. It's the first time that the Reds have gone on a 16-3 run against the Cubs since the Big Red Machine did it in 1975-1976.
KING FELIX NO MATCH FOR STREAKING KONERKO
From Elias: Paul Konerko extended his RBI streak to eight consecutive games with his fourth home run during that span as the White Sox defeated Felix Hernandez and the Mariners, 5-1. That's one game short of the longest RBI streak of Konerko's career, set in July 2000, and one short of the longest in the majors this season. Jason Bartlett drove in at least one run in nine straight games last month.
TIGERS POUR IT ON IN TEXAS
From Elias: The Tigers collected 20 hits in an 8-1 victory at Texas after recording 18 hits in Monday's 13-7 win over the Rangers. This is only the second time in the last 50 years that the Tigers had 18 or more hits in consecutive games. They also did it on August 11-12, 1993 in a pair of wins against the Orioles.