Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Barry Bonds hit his third homer of the Giants' homestand and each contributed to a one-run win (6-5 vs. St. Louis on Wednesday, 1-0 and 2-1 over the Diamondbacks on Saturday and Sunday, respectively). Bonds has 107 career home runs in one-run victories, tying Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron for the most in major league history; the next-highest total belongs to Willie Mays (94).
• The Royals defeated the Twins 3-1 with Monterrey's Jorge De La Rosa earning the victory and Monclova's Joakim Soria notching the save. It was the first game in American League history, and the first in the majors in almost 10 years, in which one Mexican-born pitcher saved a victory for another. It hadn't happened since July 20, 1998, when Pittsburgh's Francisco Cordova (win) and Ricardo Rincon (save) combined to do it in a 3-1 decision over the Mets.
• Kelly Johnson homered off Tom Glavine to lead off Sunday's game and then added a three-run, go-ahead round-tripper in the eighth inning to boost the Braves to a 9-6 win at New York. It was a 24-hour turnaround worthy of Jack Bauer for Johnson, who went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in Saturday's loss.
Over the last 40 years (since 1968), only four other players who wore the "Golden Sombrero" homered to lead off the first inning of their next game: Dick Simpson (1968 Astros), Deion Sanders (1992 Braves), Alfonso Soriano (2002 Yankees) and Michael Young (2003 Rangers). Johnson was the first player since Jason Bay in 2004 to encore a four-strikeout performance with a multiple-homer game.
Glavine has now allowed a home run to the first batter of the game in each of his last two home appearances (Johnson on Sunday and Jimmy Rollins on April 12). In 80 career regular-season starts at Shea Stadium prior to that, Glavine had allowed only one home run to lead off the first inning (Alfonso Soriano for the Yankees on June 28, 2003).
• The Tigers salvaged the final game of their series against the White Sox with a 12-inning, 6-5 victory. The win was made possible by Marcus Thames, who sent the game into extra innings with a two-out, game-tying homer in the ninth inning. It was the seventh major league game this season (and the third over a span of four days) won by a team that trailed with two outs in the ninth inning, surpassing the total of such games throughout the majors last April (six).
• Scott Rolen had a career-high five hits in the Cardinals' 12-9, 10-inning victory at Wrigley Field. Rolen had four hits in a game seven times before joining the "five-hit club" on Sunday. Barry Bonds has the most four-hit games in his career (30) among active players who have never had five in a game.
• The Orioles completed a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays in Baltimore after taking three in a row from the Royals in their last home series (April 12-14). Only once in the past nine seasons (1998-2006) did Baltimore sweep consecutive series of three games or more at Oriole Park: August 2004, against Seattle (three games) and Texas (four games).
• The Marlins hit four homers in their 12-6 win over the Nationals (Dan Uggla 2, Miguel Cabrera and Josh Winningham). It was only the third time in their last 489 home games (since April 19, 2001) that the Marlins hit as many as four home runs in a game. (They did it twice last season.)
• The Red Sox swept the Yankees over the weekend with three come-from-behind victories at Fenway Park. It was only the second time in the history of the rivalry that Boston swept a series of at least three games in which it trailed New York in each game. The only other time it happened was in April 1985 (a three-game set at Fenway Park by scores of 9-2, 14-5 and 6-4).
• Manny Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek hit consecutive solo home runs in the third inning, becoming the fifth set of teammates in major league history to homer in consecutive plate appearances in a game, but they're only the second foursome to do it all against one pitcher.
Chase Wright joined Paul Foytack as the only pitchers ever to allow home runs to four straight batters in one inning. Foytack did it for the Los Angeles Angels, in the second game of a doubleheader at Cleveland on July 31, 1963. He surrendered long balls on consecutive plate appearances by Woodie Held, Pedro Ramos, Tito Francona and Larry Brown in the sixth inning of a 9-5 loss. Just as in Sunday's game, each of those homers came with the bases empty.
• Larry Hughes scored a team-high 27 points for the Cavaliers in their series-opening win against the Wizards. For LeBron James, who added 23 points, it was the first playoff game of his career in which he was outscored by teammate.
James was his team's leading scorer in each of his 13 previous postseason games, the longest start-of-career streak of its kind in NBA history. The next-longest streak belongs to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was the Bucks' high scorer in each of his first 10 playoff games (all in 1970, when he was still known as Lew Alcindor).
• How important was Sunday's victory for the Suns? A Phil Jackson coached team has never lost a playoff series in which it won the first game. Jackson's teams are 38-0 in those series, but only 6-6 in playoff series when losing the opener.
• Allen Iverson paced the Nuggets with 31 points in their 95-89 win at San Antonio. It was the seventh straight postseason game for Iverson in which he led his team in scoring (dating back to 2003). With LeBron's 13-game streak snapped, Iverson and Dwyane Wade (seven) now own the longest current streaks of that nature for anyone who has played in this year's playoffs.
• Kobe Bryant's 28 first-half points sparked the Lakers to a 48-39 lead at the break, but Phoenix limited Bryant to only 11 points during the second half and defeated Los Angeles 95-87. Bryant is the only player in the last 10 postseasons to score that many points during the first half of his first playoff game of the year. Bryant posted the same point breakdown (28 in the first half, 11 in the second) in a road win over the Timberwolves in the Lakers' 2003 postseason opener.
Bryant matched his postseason career high for points in a half; he's scored exactly 28 (but never more) four times, all on the road. We've already mentioned two of them; the others were second-half totals at Sacramento and San Antonio in 2001.
• The Mavericks were 67-15 during the regular season, but they're 0-1 in the playoffs after a 97-85 loss to the Warriors. Only one other team in NBA history lost its first playoff game following a season in which it won more than 63 games. The 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers won 68 games during the regular season and went on to win the NBA title despite dropping their playoff opener to the Cincinnati Royals (120-116 at Philadelphia, March 21, 1967).
• The Devils clinched their series against Tampa Bay with a 3-2 victory in Game 6. Coupled with Anaheim's ousting of Minnesota, it marks the first time since 1996 that the second seed in both conferences advanced beyond the first round of the NHL playoffs. Under the current playoff format, which the NHL instituted in 1994, No. 7 seeds have a series record of 14-12 against No. 2 seeds in first-round matchups.
Detroit outshot Calgary during the six-game series, 255-129. The difference of 126 shots on goal was the largest by opposing teams in any NHL playoff series during the expansion era.
• Nick Watney posted the first PGA Tour tournament victory of his career by winning the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Watney is one of 16 golfers whose first career victory on the tour came at that event; it's happened in three straight years (Chris Couch 2006, Tim Petrovic 2005). The only other tournament on the 2007 calendar that has had that many first-time winners as the Zurich is the John Deere Classic (also 16).
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