Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Brandon Inge led off the ninth inning with a home run off Jesse Crain to lift the Tigers to a 4-3 triumph over Minnesota. It was the Twins' first walk-off loss of the year, after suffering only three such defeats all of last season. Crain was on the mound for each of those walk-off losses in 2006, one of which ended with a home run (by Seattle's Carl Everett on June 7).
• The Devil Rays defeated the Athletics 5-3 in a game that featured two pairs of back-to-back home runs. Mark Ellis and Eric Chavez connected for Oakland in the first inning; Rocco Baldelli and Elijah Dukes hit consecutive shots in the Tampa Bay fifth.
Over the past six seasons (2001 to 2006) there were 31 major league games in which both teams hit consecutive home runs, but only one of those games was as low-scoring as Sunday's contest. That was a 4-3 Red Sox win over the White Sox (Aug. 14, 2004) with back-to-back homers by Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz as well as Timo Perez and Carlos Lee.
• Jamie Moyer didn't allow a hit until the seventh inning and notched his fifth win in five career games against the Marlins. Moyer is one of three active pitchers who have earned a victory in each of at least five career appearances against a particular opponent. Brett Myers is 5-0 in five games against the Rockies and Kip Wells is 5-for-5 against the Phillies.
• The Yankees completed their April schedule with a 7-4 loss to Boston, which dropped their record to 9-14 (.391). That's second-worst April winning percentage for the Yankees in the last 22 seasons (since 1986); New York was 6-11 (.353) in April 1991, en route to a 91-loss season under Stump Merrill.
• Joe Torre used four relievers after a cracked fingernail forced Chien-Ming Wang from the game after six innings. It was the Yankees' 10th straight game in which they employed at least five pitchers, the longest such streak for any team in major league history. Only two other teams had ever done that in nine straight games, and those streaks included September games with expanded rosters. The Devil Rays used five or more pitchers in nine straight games last September and the Red Sox had a nine-game streak that overlapped the 2004 and 2005 regular seasons.
• The Dodgers outlasted the Padres for a 5-4 victory in 17 innings at San Diego with the bullpens combining to allow only one run, unearned, in 22 2/3 innings pitched. The last time relievers totaled that many innings pitched in a big-league game without allowing an earned run was on Aug. 15, 1980, when the Astros won a 3-1 decision over the Padres in 20 innings (also at San Diego) with the bullpens combining for 27 2/3 innings and no earned runs.
In franchise history, the Padres have played six home games of at least 17 innings and they've lost all of them. No other team in major league history has lost as many as five straight home games of that length, although both the Cubs (dating back to 1982) and Dodgers (since 1973) have lost each of their last four such games.
• The Bulls completed a four-game sweep of the Heat with a convincing 92-79 clincher in Miami. Only six teams have ever been swept in any round of the playoffs in defense of an NBA title, and three of them have been coached by Pat Riley: the Lakers in both 1983 (vs. Philadelphia) and 1989 (vs. Detroit), and this year's Heat. The other defending champions to be swept in a playoff series were the 1957 Philadelphia Warriors (two games vs. the Syracuse Nationals), 1991 Pistons (four games vs. Chicago) and 1996 Rockets (four games vs. Seattle).
Nash assisted on 56.1 percent of the Suns' 41 field goals on Sunday, the fourth-highest percentage in NBA playoff history, behind Stockton (60.5 percent and 57.1 percent in the previously mentioned performances) and Mark Jackson, who had assists on 17 of 30 (56.7 percent) field goals for the Pacers in a loss at Cleveland in 1998.