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HESTER MAKES UP FOR INFERIOR OFFENSE
From Elias: The Packers outgained the Bears by a margin of 103 offensive yards on Monday night (379-276), but Chicago, thanks in part to a punt-return TD from Devin Hester, won the game, 20-17. It was the fifth NFL game this weekend in which the winning team was outgained by at least 100 offensive yards, the most such games in any weekend in NFL history. The other winners of those games in Week Three were Tennessee (vs. NYG), Indianapolis (vs. DEN), Arizona (vs. OAK) and Seattle (vs. SD).
ONLY THREE 3-0 TEAMS
From Elias: The Bears' victory on Monday night united them with the Chiefs and Steelers as the only 3-0 teams in the NFL this season. It's only the second time in the past 20 years that no more than three teams started 3-0. That also happened in 2001, when the Packers, Rams and Chargers were the lone teams with perfect records through Week Three.
HALLADAY'S SHUTOUT CLINCHES FIRST PLACE
From Elias: Roy Halladay threw a two-hit shutout against the Nationals to earn his 21st win of the season, a victory that secured a fourth consecutive National League East title for the Phillies. It had been 20 years since the last time a 20-game winner tossed a shutout on the day his team clinched first place. Two pitchers did that in 1990: Dave Stewart for the Athletics and Doug Drabek for the Pirates. Stewart and Drabek each won 22 games that season.
BURNETT KNOCKED OUT EARLY
From Elias: A.J. Burnett was knocked out during the third inning and was charged with all seven runs allowed by the Yankees in the team's 7-5 loss to the Blue Jays. Burnett is now 10-15 this season with a 5.33 ERA. No pitcher in Yankees history has finished a season with at least 15 losses and an ERA of 5.00 or higher. (Earned run average has been officially recorded in the American League since 1913.)
JIMENEZ ALLOWS TWO EARLY RUNS
From Elias: Casey Blake hit a two-run single off Ubaldo Jimenez in the top of the first inning and that's all the scoring that the Dodgers needed in their 3-1 win against the Rockies. It was the first time in his 32 starts this season that Jimenez permitted more than one run in the first inning.
ROYALS AND TWINS SCORE EARLY AND OFTEN
From Elias: The Royals led the Twins 10-8 heading into the fifth inning and that ended up as the final score in their game on Monday night. There was only one other major-league game in the past 10 years in which two teams combined for at least 18 runs through the first four innings and then neither team scored the rest of the way. The other game of that type over the past decade was a 17-2 victory for the Cubs against the Pirates in August 2009.
INFANTE FOLLOWS FAMILIAR SCRIPT
From Elias: Omar Infante, who beat the Marlins with a game-ending single in the 11th inning on July 2, was the hero again on Monday night with another game-winning single in the bottom of the 11th inning against Florida. He's the only player in the major leagues with two extra-inning walk-off hits vs. one team this season. One player did that in 2009: Aaron Hill against the Orioles.
ICHIRO HITLESS IN SEATTLE VICTORY
From Elias: Ichiro went 0-for-5 in the Mariners' 7-5 victory over the Rangers. Seattle has now won each of the last three games in which Ichiro was hitless in at least five at-bats. That ties the team's longest such streak in Ichiro's 10 seasons with the team. The Mariners also won three straight games of that type in 2002.
16 HITS, NO HOME RUNS
From Elias: The Red Sox had 16 hits, but no home runs, in their 6-1 win over the White Sox. Earlier this season, on April 26, Boston had 18 hits without a homer in a game at Rogers Centre. Over the previous six seasons there was never a game in which the Red Sox had at least 16 hits, but failed to connect for a four-bagger.
ONE BAD INNING FOR GALARRAGA
From Elias: Armando Galarraga did not allow a hit at Cleveland through the first four innings, but the Indians then hit three home runs off him in the fifth inning, leading to a 6-3 loss for the Tigers. Only one other active pitcher ever had a no-hitter broken up in the fifth inning or later, while allowing as many as three home runs in the inning in which he allowed his first hit. That was Johnny Cueto, who took no-hitter into the sixth inning in 2008 against the Indians, before he was taken deep three times in that frame.
MORTON NO LONGER HITLESS
From Elias: Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton, who entered Monday night's game 0-for-21 at the plate this season, hit a sixth-inning single against the Cardinals for his first hit in 2010. That leaves only one player in the majors with more than 20 at-bats and no hits this year: J.A. Happ, who is 0-for-26.
MATUSZ THROWS SEVEN SCORELESS INNINGS
From Elias: Brian Matusz pitched seven shutout innings helping the Orioles defeat the Rays 4-0. Over the last 20 seasons only three other rookies threw at least seven scoreless innings as part of a shutout of a 90-win team in September or October: Oliver Perez for the 2002 Padres (vs. the Dodgers), Dave Bush for the 2004 Blue Jays (against the Yankees) and Clayton Richard for the 2009 Padres (vs. the Dodgers).