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Streak was Ethier-eal

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Andre Ethier apologized not for the end of his 30-game hitting streak, but rather his nonchalant attitude toward it in the first place.

The Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder is only sorry to disappoint if you might have expected him to treat such a streak as a sacred act.

"I really didn't care about it. As dumb as it sounds, our job is to try to go get a hit every day, every at-bat and that's the way I approached it," Ethier said Monday before playing the Pirates at PNC Park. "I didn't lose an ounce of sleep, didn't miss a meal, didn't have any crazy superstitions. I ate something different every day. I wore different clothes. A couple games, I used four different players' bats.

"I wasn't concerned about the streak necessarily going on. I was just up there trying to get a hit every day. When you do that, you're going to extend your streak. I guess that sounds lackadaisical, but I wasn't putting any pressure on myself. I didn't set out and say, 'I'm going to try to break Joe DiMaggio's record.'"

Ethier's streak ended Saturday against the New York Mets, one game before tying Willie Davis' club record for consecutive games with a hit, 14 short of Pete Rose's National League record and 26 shy of DiMaggio' major-league record. Ethier is the fourth player in the past six seasons to have a hit streak end at 30 games, joining Ryan Zimmerman (2009), Moises Alou (2007) and Willy Taveras (2006).

Ethier did, however, make history by setting a Major League Baseball record for the longest hitting streak in April.

"It was real impressive," Dodgers outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. said. "I mean, it's hard to do. My dad was a pretty good hitter in his right, and he only got to 25. To see Andre do 30, there were a couple days where he got a hit on a broken bat, but mostly he was hammering the ball."

Ethier entered last night's game ranking third in the majors in batting average (.371) and sixth in on-base percentage (.435), then proceeded to single to right field in the first inning to become the first player to get to 50 hits this season.

Pirates outfielder Xavier Paul, recently claimed off waivers from the Dodgers, isn't surprised by Ethier's streak but said he had mixed feelings that it ended before the Pirates could be the team that snapped it.

"If anybody could have a streak like that, on that team he'd be the guy that could do it," Paul said. "I'm sure he didn't change anything, but Andre is a competitive guy. Every day out there he had that streak in the back of his head. He's the type of guy that wants to break that record."

Additional Information:

Rare air

Since 1900, there have been 44 hitting streaks of at least 30 games. On Sunday, Dodgers RF Andre Ethier became the fifth player to collect two or more hits, including a home run, in the game after the streak ended.

Player -- Year

Andre Ethier -- 2011

Eric Davis -- 1998

George Brett -- 1980

Pete Rose -- 1978

Rogers Hornsby -- 1922

Source: Elias Sports bureau

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