Elias Says ...

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

Major League Baseball

• Don't look now (especially you, Padres fans), but the Giants are only five games out of first place in the National League West, having won six in a row and eight of their last nine. Making things a little more interesting in the West is the fact that San Francisco has seven games remaining with San Diego, and one report has it that the Giants might be getting Barry Bonds back on Tuesday.

Nine teams in major league history have finished a season in first place in their league or division after making up a five-game deficit with as few games as the Giants have left on their schedule (26). The last team to do it was the 1995 Mariners, who were five games behind the Angels with 15 games to go.

Joe Blanton allowed only two runs in 6 1/3 innings in the Athletics' 2-0 loss to the Mariners on Monday, but still picked up the loss. However, it was the ninth consecutive start in which Blanton has pitched at least six innings and allowed no more than two runs. That's the longest streak of that kind for any rookie in the live-ball era (1920 to date).