Elias Says ...

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

• The Yankees' five-game sweep of the Red Sox was only the second five-game sweep in major-league history by a first-place team over a team that began the series in second place. The other was a five-game sweep by the New York Giants over the Reds in August 1923 at Redland Field (later renamed Crosley Field). The Giants started that series with a three-game lead over the Reds and ended the season with a 4½-game lead over the second-place Reds.

The Yankees and Red Sox combined to use 29 pitchers since Friday, one shy of the major league record for pitchers used in a series, set by the Red Sox and Indians in 2000 and tied by the Mets and Braves in 2002.

However, both of those series were in September with expanded rosters. The most in a pre-September month had been 26, by the Orioles and Athletics in a five-game series in August 1996. Mike Mussina and David Wells each pitched for the Orioles in that series.

The only pitchers to work more than one inning in the series and either not allow a run, or allow an inherited runner to score were Cory Lidle (six scoreless innings Monday), Julian Tavarez (2 1/3 scoreless on Friday night) and Kyle Farnsworth (1 1/3 innings in two games).

Bobby Abreu (10 hits, 7 walks) and Manny Ramirez (8 hits, 9 walks) each reached base safely 17 times in the series. No player reached base safely that many times in one series since Dale Murphy had 10 hits and seven walks in a five-game series against the Dodgers in Sept. 1985.

• The Athletics beat the Blue Jays in Toronto on Monday, 12-10, after trailing 8-0 after two innings. Dan Haren stuck around to get the win for the A's after allowing eight runs over the first two innings. He's the first major league pitcher to win a game under those circumstances since May 14, 1913, when Rube Marquard allowed eight runs to the Cubs over the first two innings of a game at the Polo Grounds, but his Giants scored seven in the first two innings and won 14-11.

Haren is the first pitcher in American League history to win a game in which he allowed at least eight runs over the first two innings.

It is the second time this season that a team won a game in which it trailed by that much, that early --- the Yankees topped the Rangers on May 16, 14-13, after trailing 9-1 after two. Over the last seven seasons (since 2000) the only other team to win on the road under those circumstances was St. Louis at Cincinnati on May 12, 2002.

Since moving to Oakland, the A's have won only one other game anywhere in which they trailed by at least eight runs at any point, on June 18, 1993 at home against the Royals.

Justin Verlander won his 15th game of the season in the Tigers' 125th game. The last rookie to reach 15 wins that quickly was Tom Gordon for the 1989 Royals. Gordon, whose first 10 wins that year came out of the bullpen, got to 15 wins in Kansas City's 121st game. Over the last 50 years, the only other American League rookie to get to 15 wins so quickly was Mark Fidrych for the 1976 Tigers (also in their 125th game).

Jose Contreras took the loss Monday, his major-league leading sixth since the All-Star Game.

• The Reds beat the Astros 4-3 after trailing by three runs going to the bottom of the eighth inning. It's the fifth time this season that the Reds have won when trailing by at least three in the eighth or later. The only major league team to do that even half as often as the Reds this year is the Padres, who have three wins when trailing by at least three in the eighth or later. The Reds also tied a team record in that category, set in 2000.

• With a win Monday, the Padres have taken nine of their last 10 games against the Dodgers. It's only the second season in which San Diego won nine out of 10 against Los Angeles -- they also did it in 1983, when the Padres won 10 of 11 from the Dodgers over four series in June and September.

• With wins in their last three games, the Phillies are back at .500 for the first time since they had a 35-35 record on the morning of June 20. The Phillies' low point this season was then they stood nine games under .500, most recently on the morning of July 26. Since then, the Phillies are 18-9, the third-best record in the National League, behind the Dodgers (19-5) and Mets (16-7).