Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• On Thursday night, Mark Teixeira became the first player to ever hit three or more home runs in his team's first game after the All-Star break. Teixeira's seven RBI were the most by a player in his team's first game after the break since Don Mattingly had seven in 1987. That came during Mattingly's streak of eight consecutive games with a home run, a major-league record he shares with Dale Long and Ken Griffey Jr.
• Albert Pujols' home run in the bottom of the 14th inning gave the Cardinals a 3-2 win over the Dodgers. It's the fifth time in his career that Pujols has hit a game-ending home run in extra innings. Only three other active players have ever done that at least five times: Jim Thome (6), Barry Bonds (5) and Tim Salmon (5). While Pujols has only been in the major leagues since 2001, the other three all debuted in 1992 or earlier.
• Aubrey Huff hit a three-run home run in his Astros debut. In the 45-season history of the franchise, only one other midseason pickup (who had played for a different major-league team that season) hit a home run in his first game played for Houston: Vinny Castilla in 2001.
• It's not unusual for a team to use a rookie starting pitcher in its first game after the All-Star break; that happened 15 times from 2000 to 2005. But what Jon Lester did Thursday night is quite uncommon. He became only the third rookie pitcher in the past 50 years to start the first game after the All-Star break for a team at least 20 games above .500. He joins Kyle Lohse of the 2001 Twins (23 games above .500) and Wally Bunker of the 1964 Orioles (20 games above .500).
• The Red Sox, who lost in 19 innings to the White Sox on Sunday, fell in 11 innings to Oakland on Thursday night. The last time a major-league team played 19-plus innings in one game and then 11-plus innings in the next game was in June 1989, when the Astros and Dodgers played against each other in a 22-inning game and then a 13-inning game.
• Sidney Ponson reportedly reached a contractual agreement with the Yankees. Ponson was 17-12 with a 3.75 ERA in 2003, pitching for both the Orioles and Giants. But over the last three seasons (2004-06) he has a 5.58 ERA, the highest for any of the 77 major-league pitchers who have thrown at least 400 innings over that period.
• Dontrelle Willis allowed one run in seven innings against Houston and got a no-decision. It's the ninth time this season that Willis has pitched at least seven innings and allowed two or fewer earned runs, tied for the third-highest total in the majors, behind Brandon Webb (11) and Johan Santana (10).
• The Reds acquired two relief pitchers -- Gary Majewski and Bill Bray -- in their multiplayer trade with Washington. Cincinnati's bullpen entered Thursday having allowed 44 home runs and a .293 opponents' batting average this season. Each of those totals was the highest for any relief corps in the National League. Additionally, Reds relievers were averaging 6.03 strikeouts per nine innings, the lowest figure for any bullpen in the National League.
• On the day that Austin Kearns was traded, Ken Griffey Jr. hit a home run and Adam Dunn drove in two runs to lead Cincinnati to a 9-7 win against Colorado. Since Kearns joined the team in 2002, the Reds were 97-97 and scored 5.1 runs per game when Kearns, Dunn and Griffey were all in the starting lineup. In all other games, they were 237-293 (.447), scoring 4.5 runs per game.
• The Reds will be Royce Clayton's sixth major-league team in the last five seasons (since 2002). Only one non-pitcher has played for more teams over that period: Kenny Lofton (seven different teams).
• Detroit had nine hits in its 6-4 win against the Royals and nine different Tigers players contributed to that total. That tied the most hits in a game this season by a team that did not have a player with more than one hit. In the last 10 seasons, Detroit has had only one other game of that type with at least nine hits and it was also against Kansas City. On Sept. 22, 2003, in a 12-6 loss at KC, the Tigers had 10 hits, each by a different player.
• Francisco Liriano had won six straight starts, before getting roughed up by the Indians. That leaves Dontrelle Willis as the only rookie pitcher over the last 10 years to win seven consecutive starts. The D-Train did that in 2003.
• There were only seven games played in the major leagues on Thursday night, the fewest on the "first day back" after the All-Star break since the late-starting 1995 season, when there were six games played on the Wednesday after the All-Star game. In the 10 seasons from 1996 through 2005, there were at least 12 games played on the first day of resumption after the break.
• University of Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks was acquired by the Bengals in the NFL's supplemental draft. It's a credit to Cavaliers head coach Al Groh that over the previous three years (2003-2005) 10 players from UVA were selected in the NFL draft -- nine of them in the third round or later (all except Heath Miller, a first-rounder in 2005) -- and all 10 of them are still active in the NFL. Brooks, who was dismissed from the team by Groh, becomes only the second player from the University of Virginia ever drafted by the Bengals. The other was Tim O'Connor, an offensive tackle chosen in the 11th round in 1990. O'Connor never played a game in the NFL.
• Zach Johnson is tied for first place at the end of the first round of the John Deere Classic. It's the first time in his career that he has ever led, or been tied for the lead, at the end of the first round of a tournament. Johnson's seven under-par ties his personal best for a first round. He also did that at the 2005 PLAYERS Championship.
• J.P. Hayes, who is also tied for first place, needed only 23 putts, including 13 one-putts, on his way to a 64 for the day. That total of 23 putts was one off his personal best of 22 in a single round.
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