Dayton Dragons outfielder Jose Siri set an all-time Midwest League minor-league baseball record for consecutive games with a base hit on Monday night at Fort Wayne.
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Siri’s single on an 0-2 pitch in the eighth inning off Tin Caps’ reliever Diomar Lopez extended his streak to 36 games. He struck out in his first three at-bats against starter Michel Baez.
“This means a lot to me, I am very happy,” said Siri, who raised his right arm high in the air when he saw the ball reach the outfield. “All I was thinking about was letting the ball get to me and not picking up my foot and just driving the ball somewhere.”
Siri had tied the record of 35 on Sunday, also at Fort Wayne. The 35-game hit streak record for the Class A league initially was set 40 years ago - in 1977 - by Tony Toups of the Waterloo Indians.
»STREAK EXTENDED: Siri doubles on Tuesday; streak at 37
Dayton scored two runs in the ninth Monday but dropped a 4-3 decision.
Siri is slightly more than halfway to the all-time, minor-league baseball hit streak regardless of classification. Joe Wilhoit had a 69-game hit streak while playing for Wichita in the Western League in 1919.
Ranking No. 2 among minor leaguers is a more familiar player, Joe DiMaggio. His 61-game hit streak was set in 1933 with the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League. DiMaggio also set the Major League baseball all-time hit streak of 56 games with the New York Yankees in 1941.
Whit Merrifield (Royals), Jose Altuve (Astros) and Bryce Harper (Nationals) all are tied at 19 games for the longest hit streak in the Major Leagues this season, all of which have ended.
Siri has batted leadoff since T.J. Friedl was promoted to the High-A Cincinnati Reds affiliate Daytona Tortugas. A 6-foot-2, 175-pounder and fleet footed, Siri leads the Dragons in most offensive categories, including stolen bases.
The Dominican Republic native’s hit streak began with a bang on the second game of the season’s second half. The Dragons lost that game 8-7 to Lake County, but Siri had four hits. Since the streak began he’s vaulted among the offensive leaders in all of minor-league baseball.
Entering Monday’s game, Siri:
• Hit .350 with 13 home runs and 29 RBI’s, 10 doubles, three triples, and a .701 slugging percentage during the streak.
• Hit .462 on balls in play during the streak (55 for 119; had 38 strikeouts in 157 at-bats).
• Had not gone beyond the fifth inning without a hit since July 14 (14 straight games with a hit within the first five innings).
The Dragons conclude the TinCaps series at noon Tuesday. Dayton returns to Fifth Third Field on Wednesday to begin a seven-game home stand against Great Lakes Loons, then the Lansing Lugnuts.
The Dragons captured a wildcard postseason playoff spot by finishing runner-up to first-half Eastern Division winner West Michigan Whitecaps.
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