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Martinez OT goal sends Kings to the Stanley Cup Final
From Elias: Defenseman Alec Martinez scored at the 5:47 mark of overtime to earn the Kings a 5-4 win over the Blackhawks in Game Seven of the Western Conference Final. The Kings are the sixth team in NHL history to advance to the Stanley Cup Final with a Game Seven overtime victory in the preceding round of the playoffs. The others are the 1939 Bruins (Mel Hill), 1950 Red Wings (Leo Reise, Jr.), 1968 Blues (Ron Schock), 1979 Canadiens (Yvon Lambert) and 1994 Rangers (Stephane Matteau). The only one of those five teams that didn't go on to win the Cup that year was the 1968 Blues, who were swept by Montreal in the Final.
Another Game Seven for Sutter
From Elias: Darryl Sutter's Kings are heading to the Stanley Cup Final after their Game Seven victory on Sunday. It was Sutter's 10th Game Seven as an NHL head coach, which ties him for the all-time record in that category with Mike Keenan and Claude Julien. What makes that especially interesting is that Darryl is the only one of the six Sutter brothers who played in the NHL who never appeared in a Game Seven as a player! The twins, Rich and Ron, each played five Game Sevens, Duane four, Brian three and Brent two.
High scoring first period
From Elias: The Blackhawks outscored the Kings, 3-2, in the first period. It was the first time in NHL history that as many as five first-period goals were scored in the seventh game of a playoff series. There have been 10 Game Sevens with four first-period goals, but only two since 1996.
Kane stood tall facing elimination
From Elias: Patrick Kane, who had two assists in a losing cause on Sunday, set an NHL record with nine points in the series while facing elimination (two goals, seven assists). He eclipsed Mario Lemieux, who recorded eight points (three goals, five assists) in Games Five, Six and Seven of the Penguins' 1992 first-round series victory against the Capitals, after Pittsburgh fell behind Washington, three games to one.
Lohse does it on the mound and at the plate
From Elias: Kyle Lohse had RBI singles in the second and third innings and tossed a three-hit shutout as the Brewers topped the Cubs, 9-0. Over the last 36 seasons (1979 to date), the only other pitcher who registered a shutout in which he allowed three or fewer hits and had a pair of RBI hits at the plate is Greg Maddux, who did it for the Braves in a 13-0 win at Colorado on August 11, 1994.
Greinke streak ends
From Elias: Zack Greinke allowed four runs in six innings in his loss to the Pirates, ending his streak of 23 consecutive regular-season starts in which he was charged with no more than three runs. That's the longest streak of its kind for any pitcher since Pedro Martinez had a streak of identical length for the Red Sox from 1999 to 2000. Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-3 against Greinke, with a home run and two doubles. The only other players who've recorded three extra-base hits off Greinke in one game did it during his tenure with the Royals: Arizona's Shawn Green (two homers and a double on June 10, 2005) and Toronto's Marco Scutaro (three doubles on June 5, 2009).
May? June? It's all the same to Encarnacion
From Elias: Edwin Encarnacion's eighth-inning home run was icing on the cake for the Blue Jays as they topped the Royals, 4-0. Encarnacion, who hit a major-league-high 16 home runs in May, became the first player since Sammy Sosa on September 1, 2001, to homer on the first day of a month after hitting 15 or more home runs the previous month. Sosa hit 17 home runs in August of that year. Barry Bonds did the same thing three months before Sosa, homering on June 1, 2001, after he hit 17 homers that May.
Holt likes the top of the Red Sox' batting order
From Elias: Brock Holt doubled in each of his four at-bats in the Red Sox' 4-0 win over the Rays on Sunday, after he went 2-for-5 with a home run on Saturday, all from the leadoff spot in Boston's batting order. Holt joined Denny Sothern as the only players since 1900 to go 4-for-4 or better with four (or more) doubles from the first batting-order position in a major-league game. Sothern was 5-for-5 with four doubles for the Phillies in their 14-5 victory over the Reds on June 6, 1930.
Sale is practically untouchable
From Elias: Chris Sale tossed a two-hitter with no walks and nine strikeouts as the White Sox salvaged the final game of their three-game set against the Padres. It was the second game this season in which Sale allowed two or fewer hits and recorded nine or more strikeouts without issuing a walk. (He did that against the Yankees on May 22: one hit, no walks and 10 strikeouts.) There have been only two other such games this season by all other major-league pitchers combined (Scott Kazmir on April 13 and Adam Wainwright on May 20).
Willingham makes quick work of Robertson
From Elias: Josh Willingham greeted David Robertson with a first-pitch, game-tying home run to lead off the ninth inning and ignite a six-run frame for the Twins in their 7-2 win at Yankee Stadium. It was Willingham's third homer of the season, all in a four-day span, and it was the second one that he's hit this year on the first pitch of an at-bat. As for Robertson, it was the first game of his major-league career in which he surrendered a home run on the first pitch he threw. That includes 357 regular-season games and 19 postseason appearances.
Duda comes through in overtime
From Elias: Lucas Duda hit a two-run home run in the 11th inning before the Mets held on the in bottom of the inning to beat the Phillies, 4-3. Duda was hitless in 16 consecutive extra-inning at-bats (since May 2013), including eight strikeouts, before his blast on Sunday. It was the longest extra-inning hitless streak for a Mets player since Vance Wilson went 17 consecutive at-bats without a hit in the tenth inning or later from 2001 to 2004. Wilson, like Duda, snapped that hitless streak with a home run at Citizens Bank Park (June 1, 2004, ten years to the day before Duda's homer).
Darvish fans the Nationals
From Elias: Yu Darvish struck out 12 batters in eight innings before Joakim Soria nailed down the Rangers' 2-0 victory at Washington. Darvish has registered 41 strikeouts over his last four starts, including three games with more than ten strikeouts. The only other major-league pitcher to strike out at least 40 batters over a four-game span this season is Jose Fernandez (42 from April 16 to May 4), and the only other pitcher to have three games with 11 or more strikeouts is Corey Kluber.
Gattis ends Cishek's homerless streak
From Elias: Evan Gattis hit a two-run, tiebreaking home run off Steve Cishek in the top of the ninth inning and Shae Simmons survived a shaky bottom of the ninth to notch his first save (one day after his major-league debut) in the Braves' 4-2 win over the Marlins. It was the first home run allowed by Cishek since John Mayberry, Jr. took him deep at Citizens Bank Park almost a year ago (June 4, 2013). Cishek entered Sunday's game with the longest current streak of homerless innings for any major-league pitcher (a career-high 67¿ innings).
Elias tames the Tigers
From Elias: Roenis Elias tossed a three-hitter for the Mariners to top the Tigers, 4-0. Elias is the first rookie pitcher to shut out Detroit on three or fewer hits since the Angels' Tim Fortugno allowed three hits in a 9-0 whitewashing of the Tigers at Anaheim on July 25, 1992.
Cleveland is the home of walkoff shots
From Elias: Michael Bourn completed the Indians' three-game series sweep of the Rockies with a game-ending two-run homer that gave Cleveland a 6-4 win. It was the first walkoff home run of Bourn's career, but it was the 16th for the Indians over the last four seasons (seven in 2011, one in 2012, six in 2013 and two this year), the most for any major-league team over that span (one more than the Rays).
Machado slams the Astros
From Elias: Manny Machado hit a grand slam off Scott Feldman that capped the Orioles' six-run sixth inning in their 9-4 win at Houston. The Astros entered Sunday's game as the only American League team that had neither hit nor allowed a bases-loaded home run this season.
Reds hit four solo homers in 4-3 win
From Elias: Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier, Ryan Ludwick and Chris Heisey all homered for the Reds in their 4-3 win at Arizona. It was the fourth one-run victory in franchise history in which Cincinnati hit four (or more) solo homers that accounted for all of the team's scoring. It happened previously in 4-3 wins over the Pirates on June 9, 1954 (two by Gus Bell and one each by Jim Greengrass and Joe Nuxhall), the Phillies on August 29, 1955 (two by Wally Post and one each by Smoky Burgess and Hobie Landrith), and the Pirates in June 14, 2002 (two by Aaron Boone and one each for Juan Encarnacion and Austin Kearns).
Another one-sided shutout victory for the Giants at Busch Stadium
From Elias: The Giants scored four first-inning runs against Lance Lynn and never looked back in their 8-0 win at St. Louis. The Cardinals have suffered five shutout losses by margins of eight or more runs at Busch Stadium over the last six seasons (2009 to date), and three of those five losses have been to the Giants (10-0 in 2009, 15-0 in 2012 and 8-0 on Sunday).
Athletics get to Weaver
From Elias: The Athletics opened the scoring with four runs in the third inning and never trailed as they beat Jered Weaver and the Angels, 6-3. Weaver, who is 11-8 in his 27 career starts against Oakland, hadn't allowed as many as four runs in an inning to the A's in any of his last 18 games against them.