Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
• The Indians have been within three games of the AL wild-card lead continuously since Aug. 16. But a victory Thursday, combined with the Yankees' loss, put the Indians in sole possession of the wild-card lead for the first time this season.
• The Indians defeated the Tigers 4-2 with all four runs scored on home runs by Aaron Boone, Casey Blake and Coco Crisp. That raises Cleveland's streak to 15 consecutive runs, spanning four games (all against the Tigers), that have been driven in by homers. That's the longest streak since the Pirates scored 17 straight on home runs in 2003.
• The Indians got three scoreless innings of middle relief in their victory over the Tigers, and Rafael Betancourt, who relieved starter Kevin Millwood in the sixth inning, earned the win. Indians middle relievers have a 10-2 record -- best in the AL -- with a 3.01 ERA, second in the league only to the White Sox (2.94). Elias defines middle relievers as those who enter the game prior to the eighth inning.