Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Ryan Howard hit two more home runs, his 55th and 56th of the season, driving in all the Phillies' runs in their 3-2 victory over the Marlins. Howard has hit 12 home runs in 48 at-bats since Aug. 25. He has outhomered nine teams and hasn't gone more than seven at-bats without a home run during that span.
• Hong-Chih Kuo pitched six scoreless innings to earn his first major-league win in the Dodgers' 5-0 victory over the Mets. Over the last eight years, the only other pitcher to record his first win by not allowing a run when starting against the team with the outright best record in the majors was Ervin Santana. Santana pitched a complete-game five-hitter against the White Sox last season.
• Joey Gathright's third hit of the game drove in the winning runs with two outs in the ninth inning of the Royals' 10-9 victory at Fenway Park. It was Gathright's first three-hit game of the season in his 97th start. Every other player with at least 70 starts this season has at least one three-hit game.
• It may have been in vain, but David Ortiz drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning of the Red Sox's eventual loss. Papi has 13 hits and 10 RBI in 24 at-bats in late-inning pressure situations since the All-Star break.
• Kevin Jarvis blew an early 3-0 lead in the Red Sox's loss to maintain a quirky distinction. Jarvis is winless in two appearances since joining Boston, which is -- at least for now -- the sixth major-league team for which he has pitched without earning a victory. That equals the highest such total in MLB history. Anyone remember the co-record-holder, Rich Sauveur?
• Huston Street pitched the final inning to earn a save in the A's 8-6 win over the Devil Rays. It was Street's first appearance since Aug. 18. Oakland's bullpen was flawless in his absence, as evidenced by the A's 12-0 record in games in which they led during or after the sixth inning. Athletics relievers posted a 1-0 record with five saves and a 1.52 ERA during that time.
• The Reds kicked off what they hope will be a successful playoff run with a 9-1 victory over the Pirates. Prior to Friday's game, the average winning percentage of Cincinnati's remaining opponents was .444, giving the Reds the softest schedule in the majors over the rest of the season.
• The Astros defeated the Brewers 4-3 in the opener of a three-game set. But even before Friday night's win, Houston had clinched the season series over Milwaukee for the ninth consecutive season. No other team has won its season series against an opponent in each of the last nine seasons (1998-2006), although the Yankees can extend their streak to nine seasons over the Orioles. New York has won seven of 13 games vs. Baltimore this season, with six more to play.
• Morgan Ensberg hit a two-run go-ahead home run in the seventh inning of the Astros' victory. That snapped Ensberg's streak of 27 hitless at-bats in late-inning pressure situations, dating back to June 4. That was the longest LIPS hitless streak in the majors since Cory Sullivan went 0-for-28 last season (May 15 to Aug. 19).
• Dennys Reyes, winning pitcher Pat Neshek, and Jesse Crain combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings as the Twins rallied for seven runs in a 9-5 win over the Tigers. Twins middle relievers -- that is, those who enter the game prior to the eighth inning -- have the best such ERA in the American League (3.34).
• It seemed like a lock. Ozzie Guillen called on Bobby Jenks to protect a two-run lead in the ninth inning. It was the 27th time in his career that Jenks entered a game to start the ninth inning with a lead of two or more runs, and the White Sox won each of the 26 previous games. Not this time.
Four batters and four doubles later, the Indians had taken a 6-5 lead and Jenks was pulled. Jenks was the first relief pitcher to allow as many as four doubles in a game this season and only the second in the last 40 years to allow doubles to four consecutive batters. Jason Isringhausen was the other (2001).
• Ontario native Mike Weir didn't come close to making the cut at the Canadian Open, shooting 71-74 to finish the second round five strokes above the cut line. That snaps Weir's streak of 17 consecutive cuts made, dating back to the AT&T Pebble Beach on Feb. 9-12.
ESPN TOP HEADLINES
- Sources: Gilbert letter still issue for LeBron
- LeBron mum, flies back to Miami with Wade
- Tanaka has partially torn UCL, will try rehab
- Kershaw's streak ends at 41 IP in CG gem