Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• "New York sweeps series against the defending champion White Sox." If that was the headline of a story you read today, check the date of your newspaper. You might be reading the morning edition from Oct. 4, 1907. The only other time that the Yankees (then the Highlanders) swept a series of any length from a White Sox team that had won the previous year's World Series was at New York's Hilltop Park, Oct. 1-3, 1907.
The White Sox played 90 games before suffering their first series sweep of the season. That was the furthest into a season that a defending World Series champion had gone before being swept in a series of any length since the 1997 Braves, who played 138 games before losing a three-game set at Cincinnati.
• Mariano Rivera recorded the final six outs of the Yankees' victory to notch the 400th regular-season save of his career. It was only the 11th time that Rivera earned a save in a game in which he threw at least two innings. You can't help but wonder what Rollie Fingers thinks about that. Fingers pitched at least two innings in 135 of the 341 games he saved during his career (39.6 percent).
• Adam Dunn's 30th home run of the season sparked a five-run eighth-inning that lifted the Reds to a 6-4 win against the Rockies. Dunn's shot came in Cincinnati's 93rd game of the year; only three Reds reached the 30-homer mark fewer games into a season than Dunn. Ted Kluszewski did it in Cincinnati's 86th game in 1955; Tony Perez (in 1970) and Ken Griffey Jr. (in 2000) both hit their 30th home run of the year in the club's 89th game.
• Luis Castillo and Grady Sizemore traded first-inning leadoff homers in the Twins' victory over the Indians, two weeks to the day after Kevin Youkilis and Hanley Ramirez did it (Boston at Florida, July 2). Prior to that, it had been exactly one year since the last major-league game in which both teams led off the first inning with a home run (Orlando Palmeiro and Felipe Lopez, Houston at Cincinnati, July 2, 2005).
Castillo led off a game with a home run for only the second time in his career (the other was on Sept. 29, 2000). Among current players who have started at least 500 games at the top of the batting order, only Castillo (two), Juan Pierre (two) and David Eckstein (three) have fewer than five first-inning leadoff homers.
• Rondell White returned from the disabled list to hit his first homer of the season for Minnesota, snapping the longest home run drought of his career (184 at-bats since last August). Prior to that streak, White had never gone as many as 130 consecutive at-bats without a home run.
• Barry Bonds homered in a losing effort against the Phillies, but his sixth-inning home run gave the Giants their second (and last) lead of the game. Bonds homered on a 3-2 offering from Brett Myers; it was his fourth home run on a full count this season. Although he ranks 64th in the majors with 13 home runs this year, only three players have more full-count homers than Bonds: Jason Giambi (nine), David Ortiz (six) and Andruw Jones (five).
The Phillies tied the game with a run in the top of the seventh inning before a four-run eighth inning supplied them with the margin of victory. It was the seventh time this season that Philadelphia won a road game in which it trailed in the seventh inning or later, the most such victories for any team in the majors.
• Albert Pujols went 4-for-5 with three RBI as the Cardinals capped a four-game sweep of the Dodgers. Pujols has at least one RBI in each of St. Louis' six home games this month. Over that span, Pujols has 16 hits in 29 at-bats at Busch Stadium (.552 BA), with five doubles, three home runs (1.034 SLG) and 11 RBI.
• The Angels defeated Tampa Bay 7-5 after their bullpen blew a 5-3 lead handed to them by Bartolo Colon in the seventh inning. It was the first time in more than two years that Angels relievers relinquished a lead in a game in which Colon was in line to pick up a victory. Colon's last such "blown win" was on May 26, 2004.
Colon had won the previous 35 games in which he provided a lead to the bullpen after the fifth inning. That was longest streak of its kind for any starting pitcher since the A's bullpen protected 40 straight leads for Mark Mulder (2001 to 2004).
• Atlanta swept its three-game series at San Diego by scores of 15-12, 11-3 and 10-5. The Braves hadn't swept a road series of at least three games while scoring at least 10 runs in each game since 1950, when the Boston Braves won three in a row at Cincinnati (May 4-6; 12-6, 13-1 and 15-11).
• The Royals beat the Tigers for the first time in a dozen tries this season. That leaves the Astros as the only team with a current double-digit winning streak against a particular opponent. Houston has won its last 12 meetings with the Phillies, dating back to August 2004.
Detroit's Carlos Guillen opened the scoring in the second inning with a first-pitch home run, after homering in his previous plate appearance (on Friday night). Guillen was the fifth player this season to homer on consecutive pitches that spanned separate games. The others were Ryan Church, Damian Miller, Carlos Beltran and Griffey.
• The Marlins homered in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings in Sunday's victory over the Astros. It was the second game this season in which Florida players homered in three straight innings (the other was on June 27 vs. Tampa Bay). The only NL team to do that in more games than the Marlins this season is Milwaukee (three times).
• The Rangers dropped a 4-0 decision at Baltimore on Sunday and didn't score an earned run over the final 23 innings of that series. That's four innings shy of the longest such streak for any AL team this year (27 by the Mariners, April 6-9) and it's the second-longest for Texas in the past 14 seasons (25 innings without plating an earned run, Sept. 1-4, 2004).
• The Mets erased a 5-0 deficit to defeat the Cubs 13-7 at Wrigley Field. It was the largest margin of victory in franchise history in a game in which the Mets trailed by at least five runs. No NL team had erased a five-run deficit to win a game by a margin of at least six runs since April 7, 2004, when the Braves defeated the Mets at Turner Field, 18-10, after trailing in the contest 6-0.
New York scored 11 runs in the sixth inning, eight of which were unearned. Over the last nine seasons (since 1998), only one other NL team scored as many as eight unearned runs in one inning. Milwaukee plated eight of them in the fourth inning of a 15-5 victory over the Diamondbacks in the 2001 regular-season finale.
• It took 11 innings for the Blue Jays to beat Seattle at Rogers Centre on Sunday, after they defeated the Mariners in 14 innings on Saturday. It was only the second time in Blue Jays history that they won back-to-back games, each ending in the 11th inning or later. In June 1989, Toronto followed a 14-inning win at California with a 13-inning victory at Oakland. Two other teams won consecutive games of 11 or more innings this year: the Braves (May 16-17) and Cardinals (July 9-13, spanning the All-Star break).
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