Elias Says ...

Updated: July 23, 2006, 2:40 AM ET
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc. | Special to ESPN Insider

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports

MLB
• Jose Valentin hit a grand slam for the Mets on Friday. That was the Mets' fourth grand slam in their last five games -- Cliff Floyd and Carlos Beltran each hit grannies on Sunday in Chicago and Beltran had another on Tuesday in Cincinnati. The Mets are the first team in major league history to hit four grand slams in a five-game span.

• The Mets have gotten two shutouts from rookie pitchers this season, by John Maine on Friday and by Alay Soler on June 10. The Mets are the first team to have two rookies throw shutouts in the same season since the 1999 Mariners got shutouts from Freddy Garcia and John Halama.

The last Mets rookies to throw shutouts in the same season were Dwight Gooden and Ron Darling in 1984.

• Alex Rodriguez, who turns 31 in six days, recorded the 2,000th hit of his major league career Friday night. A-Rod is the eighth player in major league history to reach 2,000 hits before turning 31, joining Ty Cobb (the only player to get there before turning 30), Rogers Hornsby, Jimmie Foxx, Mel Ott, Joe Medwick, Hank Aaron and Robin Yount.

A-Rod's 2,000th hit was also his 450th home run. He's the first player in major league history to get to 450 home runs before his 31st birthday. The previous youngest player at that milestone was Ken Griffey Jr., who was 31 years, 261 days old when he got there in 2001.

• Mike Piazza also recorded his 2,000th career hit on Friday. It's the second time in the last three weeks that two players have gotten their 2,000th hit on the same day -- Garret Anderson and Manny Ramirez did it on July 1. Before that, it had not happened since Pete Rose and Willie Davis reached that milestone on June 19, 1973.

• Justin Verlander won his 12th game of the season Friday in the Tigers' 96th game. He's the first rookie to reach a dozen wins in so few games since Kaz Ishii got his 12th win in the Dodgers' 92nd game in 2002.

However, no American League rookie has gotten to 12 wins in so few games since 1949, when the Philadelphia Athletics' Alex Kellner got there in 72 games.

• Jamie Moyer allowed five home runs, including the 400th home run of his career, on Friday. He's the ninth pitcher in major league history to allow that many home runs. The record is 505 home runs allowed, by Robin Roberts.

Manny Ramirez's home run was his 10th in 50 at-bats against Moyer. That ties them for the most home runs by any active batter against any active pitcher in the major leagues; Luis Gonzalez has hit 10 home runs against Greg Maddux (in 101 at-bats).

• Mark Buehrle is 0-4 with an 11.39 earned-run average in his last four starts. Buehrle has lost four or more consecutive starts only one other time in his career. He lost six straight starts in 2003.

• Russ Ortiz allowed six runs, all earned, without retiring a batter Friday, raising his season ERA to 9.61 after 10 starts. That's the highest ERA by a pitcher after 10 starts since 2000, when Roy Halladay, before resurrecting his career, had an 11.36 ERA through 10 starts, Chad Durbin had a 9.94 ERA and Sean Bergman had a 9.93 ERA.

• Mark Prior allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings Friday, but was not tagged with a loss. Over his last eight starts, since Sept. 15, 2005, Prior is 0-6 with a 6.47 ERA (29 ER in 40 1/3 IP) and opponents are hitting .297 against him.

• The Royals beat the Angels Friday, 8-3, after defeating the Halos on Thursday, 9-4. The Royals had not won consecutive games by five runs since June 2004, when they won three in a row by the score of 10-4 (two against the Braves, one against the Phillies). British Open

British Open
• Tiger Woods and Ernie Els will tee it up together in the third round of the British Open on Saturday. Only one other time has Woods held the lead after 36 holes of a PGA Tour event where Els stood in second place. At the 2000 Mercedes Championship, Woods led Els by four strokes after two rounds. In the third round, Els shot a 67 while Woods put up a 71. They both went on to shoot 68 in the final round before Woods claimed the victory in a playoff versus Els.

• Seeing Miguel Angel Jimenez on the leader board at a major championship is not uncommon. Currently in a tie for fifth place, this is his best showing at the midway point of a British Open. The Mechanic's previous best had been a tie for 25th place last year, when he wound up finishing the tournament in a tie for 52nd place. Jimenez's best showing at the midway point of a major championship came at the 2000 U.S. Open, where he stood in a tie for second place, six strokes behind Tiger Woods.

• Chris DiMarco, Ernie Els and Tiger Woods each recorded 65s during the second round of the British Open at Royal Liverpool. It's the seventh time over the last 25 years at the Open that there has been a round in which three or more players shot 65 or lower. The last occurrence came in the final round of the 2002 Open at Muirfield. In that round Stuart Appleby, Gary Evans, Pierre Fulk, Peter O'Malley and Tiger Woods all shot 65.

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