Elias Says ...

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.

Updated: June 11, 2006, 2:11 AM ET
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc. | Special to ESPN Insider

Soccer
• England's victory over Paraguay was the first 1-0 game in World Cup history that was decided by an own-goal.

• By holding a 1-0 lead from the third minute on, England set a World Cup mark. No team had ever made a goal that was scored in the first three minutes stand up for a 1-0 victory. Previously, three teams scored in the fourth minute of a 1-0 win: Russia over Slovenia in 2002; Yugoslavia over the United States in 1998; and Argentina over Bulgaria in 1962.

• Michael Owen, who will not turn 27 until December, is appearing in his third FIFA World Cup. Only five other men played in three World Cups before turning 27: Nicolae Kovacs (Romania, 1930-38), Pele (Brazil, 1958-66), Gianni Rivera (Italy, 1962-70), Giuseppe Bergomi (Italy, 1982-90) and Rigobert Song (Cameroon, 1994-2002). Japan's Shinji Ono can also join this list this year.

• Shaka Hislop started in goal in Trinidad & Tobago's scoreless tie against Sweden, after Kelvin Jack was injured during warmups. At age 37, Hislop became the second-oldest goalkeeper to record a shutout in the World Cup. The only older player was Manuel Bento of Portugal, who was three weeks shy of his 38th birthday when he and Portugal defeated England in 1986.

• Javier Saviola scored the second goal for Argentina in its 2-1 win over Ivory Coast. Saviola was the first Argentine player to score in his World Cup debut since Gabriel Batistuta scored a hat trick against Greece in his debut in 1994.

• Jose Burciaga scored for the second straight game for the Kansas City Wizards. Over the past six seasons (2003-06), the only starting defenders to score a goal in consecutive MLS games are Gonzalo Segares for the Chicago Fire last summer (July 2-9) and Alexi Lalas for the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2002 (August 17-21).

• With a 1-1 final against the Dynamo on Saturday, the Red Bulls have tied seven of their first 10 games this season. Only one other MLS team has tied seven times in a 10-game span: Columbus tied eight of 11 games from July to September 2004.

NHL
• How many times have we seen it in a best-of-seven postseason series: One team wins the first two games at home, and the undercurrent starts. "It's done." "This series is over." "[The losing team] doesn't even belong on the same [field, court, ice] as [the winning team]."

And yet, if the team that trails just wins one game -- Game 3, at home -- the series will be as tight as it can possibly be (two wins to one) after three games. And so it was that the Oilers beat the Hurricanes 2-1 on Saturday night and now trail the Stanley Cup finals two games to one.

One cautionary note (it's our duty): There have been 16 previous best-of-seven Cup finals in which a team that lost the first two games won the third. But only two of those 16 teams went on to win the series. The Canadiens accounted for both of those triumphs, besting Detroit in six games in 1966 and defeating Chicago in seven games in 1971.

 Joe Mauer
Mauer

MLB
• The remarkable Joe Mauer had two hits and two walks Saturday, and he has reached base safely at least four times in each of his past five games.

The last major-leaguer to reach base safely (meaning on a hit, walk or hit-by-pitch) at least four times in each of five consecutive games was also a catcher: Mike Piazza did it in 1997, his last full season with the Dodgers. The last American Leaguer to do it was a converted catcher: Brian Downing of the Angels did it as a DH in the first five games of the 1991 season.

You might think that Mauer's .528 batting average (19-for-36) over the first 10 days of June is the best in the majors over that span. Joe Mauer, meet Ichiro: Suzuki went 3-for-6 in Seattle's 12-6 victory over the Angels on Saturday night, lowering his June batting average to .558 (24-for-43)!

Daniel Cabrera had another one of his signature outings Saturday: six innings, no runs, six walks, five strikeouts. Through 10 starts and 52 1/3 innings this season, Cabrera has walked 50 batters; that's the most walks over a pitcher's first 10 starts of a season since Tim Wakefield had 51 at that point in 1993. No pitcher has walked that many batters in so few innings over his first 10 starts since Bobby Witt had 53 walks in 50 innings in 1986.

Manny Ramirez hit the 450th home run of his career Saturday in his 6,321st career at-bat. Only three players in major league history have reached that milestone in fewer at-bats: Mark McGwire (5,092 in 1998), Babe Ruth (5,245 in 1928) and Harmon Killebrew (5,852 in 1970).

 Alay Soler
Soler

• Two nights after Orlando Hernandez threw the Mets' first nine-inning complete-game of the year, a 7-1 win over the Diamondbacks in Phoenix, rookie Alay Soler went El Duque one better, tossing a two-hit shutout for a 5-0 win at Chase Field.

Soler became the first Mets rookie to throw a complete-game shutout since Jason Jacome blanked the Dodgers 3-0 in his second big league game in 1994. The last right-handed rookie to throw a complete-game shutout for the Mets was Dwight Gooden in September 1984.

There was only one shutout by a major league rookie all last season (by the Angels' Ervin Santana), but Soler was the fourth rookie to throw one this year. The others all came in a two-day span, by the Giants' Matt Cain (May 21 at Oakland), the Astros' Taylor Buchholz (May 21 vs. Texas), and the Tigers' Justin Verlander (May 22 at Kansas City).

Frank Thomas is only 4-for-19 against the Yankees this season, but all four hits have been big ones. Thomas hit a two-run home run Saturday, a solo homer Friday, and in the season-opening series in Oakland he hit a bases-loaded, three-run double in one game and a solo homer in another.

Edgar Renteria hit a home run on a 3-0 pitch Saturday. Braves fans have not seen one of their players hit a homer on that count in over four years, since Chipper Jones hit an 11th-inning home run in St. Louis on May 3, 2002, to break a 0-0 tie.

Carlos Zambrano, who allowed only one run in 7 2/3 innings against the Reds on Saturday, is 5-1 with a 1.54 ERA since the start of May. The only major leaguer with a lower ERA than Zambrano over that time is Jason Schmidt (1.15).

• They say that if you come to the ballpark, you'll see something that you've never seen before. If you were at Coors Field on Saturday, watching the Rockies' 12-9 victory over the Dodgers, you saw something that hadn't happened in the major leagues in more than a third of a century.

Colorado's 12 runs were scored -- one apiece -- by 12 players (the nine starters and three pinch-hitters). The last big league team to score at least 12 runs in a game, each by a different player, was Minnesota in a 12-4 victory over Detroit on Aug. 1, 1970.

Golf
• History was made on the 18th hole at the Barclays Classic on Saturday when four players (Paul Azinger, Craig Barlow, Ian Leggatt and Arron Oberholser) produced eagles. There have been 16 eagles on the par-five 18th through the first three rounds, already breaking the previous single-tournament record for this hole (13 eagles in 1990).

Not everyone had a good day on the 18th, though. Ben Crane shot a triple-bogey to finish 6 over for the round. The last PGA Tour player to triple-bogey this hole was Andy Bean in the second round in 1999.

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