ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The oh-fer was at four and counting when Ketel Marte stepped to the plate in the eighth inning of Game 2 of the World Series on Saturday night.
The switch-hitting second baseman of the Arizona Diamondbacks had one more chance to pass Derek Jeter & Co. for the longest hitting streak in postseason history.
No. 18 is in the books, and Marte still hasn’t played a hitless postseason game.
Marte already had the MLB record for the longest streak to start a career at 17 postseason games before his two-run single off Texas Rangers reliever Martín Pérez in a 9-1 Arizona victory that evened the Series at 1-all.
The two-out hit that was part of a three-run eighth sent him past Jeter and Hank Bauer of the New York Yankees and Boston’s Manny Ramirez for the longest overall streak.
Jeter’s run came in 1998-99, while Bauer’s was in the World Series from 1956-58. Ramirez had his streak in 2003-04.
“Very happy. I never imagined doing something like this,” Marte said through a translator.
Rangers slugger Adolis García had two steaks end on an 0-for-3 night with a walk. The Cuban All-Star had homered in five consecutive postseason games and driven in a run in seven straight.
Marte got his chance with the bases loaded in the eighth after consecutive walks to pinch-hitter Emmanuel Rivera and No. 9 hitter Geraldo Perdomo.
Hitting leadoff after being in the No. 2 spot for Game 1, Marte sent a changeup from Pérez on the ground up the middle.
Marte’s streak started with a three-hit game in an 11-8 wild-card win over Colorado in 2017, then with three more when the Diamondbacks were swept in the Division Series by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 30-year-old who has spent all but two of his nine seasons with Arizona didn’t get another postseason shot until this season. The streak resumed with a 1-for-5 showing in the Wild Card Series opener for the National League’s sixth seed against Milwaukee.
Marte set the record in a third consecutive 1-for-5 outing. But it was the first of five such games this postseason that came down to the final at-bat.
Not that he was thinking about it.
“I don’t focus on that,” said Marte, who is hitting .333 (21 of 63) with two homers and 11 RBIs since the playoffs began and has a career .350 postseason average. “What I’m focused on is winning and just mainly getting on base.”
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