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Monday, September 11, 2006
Elias Says ...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:

MLB
• Marlins rookies hit five home runs Monday night. It was the first time in major league history that a team had as many as five home runs in a game from rookies. The previous record was four home runs in a game from rookies, done many times, most recently on July 24, 1999 when the Red Sox had three home runs by Trot Nixon and one by Brian Daubach.

• Cody Ross' three-homer game came less than a month after fellow rookie Nick Markakis hit three long balls. The only other season in major league history in which more than one rookie had a three-homer game was 1987 when Mark McGwire and Mickey Brantley did it.

• Anibal Sanchez made it only into the second inning in his attempt to join Johnny Vander Meer as the only players in major league history to throw back-to-back no hitters. Sanchez's hitless streak ended at 32 at-bats. Over the last 20 years only three rookies have had a streak of that length as a starting pitcher: Wilson Alvarez in 1991 (34), Kevin Appier in 1990 (33) and Bud Smith (33). And Sanchez tied Greg Maddux and Jason Jennings for the longest streaks this season.

Chris Carpenter
Carpenter

• Chris Carpenter threw another shutout at Busch Stadium, his third of the season there after throwing three shutouts at the previous Busch Stadium last season. Carpenter is the first pitcher with at least three home shutouts in back-to-back seasons since Roger Clemens did it for the Red Sox in 1987 (4) and 1988 (3).

Carpenter's ERA at home this year now stands at 1.47 in 15 starts. No pitcher has had an ERA under 1.50 at home since Mike Morgan had a 1.38 ERA at Wrigley for the 1992 Cubs.

Two Cardinals pitchers had an ERA under 1.50 at home at the previous Busch Stadium: Bob Gibson in 1968 (1.41) and John Tudor in 1985 (1.49).

Frank Thomas
Thomas

• Frank Thomas hit a home run for the sixth consecutive game, making him the fourth player to hit a home run in six straight games this season, joining Kevin Mench (7 straight in April), Morgan Ensberg (6 in April) and Jason Bay (6 in May). The only other season in major league history in which there was more than one streak of homers in six straight games was 2001 when there were three such streaks (Barry Bonds twice and Jose Cruz Jr.).

Bobby Jenks
Jenks

• Bobby Jenks recorded his 40th save of the season in the White Sox's win over the Angels. Jenks, who was a rookie last year, is the third pitcher to notch at least 40 saves in either his first or second season in the major leagues. Kaz Sasaki had 45 saves in his sophomore year, 2001, and Chad Cordero had 47 saves last year, his second season.

• The Yankees' win over the Orioles on Monday clinched the season series for New York for the ninth straight season. The only other team in the majors that has won its season series against a particular opponent in each of the last nine seasons (1998-2006) is Houston over Milwaukee.

NFL
• In the extended weekend of NFL action, 11 of 16 road teams won, tying the third-highest total in NFL history. The only other weekends in which as many as 11 road teams won were Week 1 in 1983 (12 of 14), Week 11 in 2001 (12 of 15) and Week 2 in 2002 (11 of 16).

• Three of those road winners did not allow a point -- the Ravens (in Tampa), Bears (in Green Bay) and Chargers (in Oakland). The only other season in NFL history in which as many as three teams opened the season with a shutout road win was 1926 when the Giants beat the Hartford Blues 21-0, the Pottsville Maroons beat the Columbus Tigers 3-0, and the Dayton Triangles (who did not have the toughest nickname in NFL history) beat the Buffalo Rangers 3-0.

• There was an average of 34.6 points per game in the first weekend of NFL action, the lowest for the first weekend of games since 1977, when there was an average of 27.4 in 14 games. Following the low-scoring 1977 season the NFL changed its rules on offensive holding, permitting extended-arms and open-hands blocking.

• The Chargers shut out the Raiders 27-0 in the second game of a Monday Night Football doubleheader. It was only the second time that the Raiders were kept scoreless in a home game. The other time was on Oct. 4, 1981, when the Broncos won in Oakland 17-0. That was the middle game of a three-game streak in which the Raiders did not score a single point -- they were also shut out in Detroit and Kansas City.

Chester Taylor
Taylor

• Chester Taylor had 31 carries in his first game for the Vikings, setting an NFL record for most carries in a veteran player's first game for a new team. The old record was 29, set by Clinton Portis in 2004 in his first game for the Redskins. (Several rookies have had as many as 31 carries in their first game in the NFL, most recently LaDainian Tomlinson, who had 36 carries in his NFL debut in 2001.)

Taylor's 31 carries were the most for a Vikings player since Scottie Graham had 33 on Dec. 26, 1993.