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Marlins Win; Castillo Gets Two Hits

June 20, 2002

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MIAMI (AP) _ Luis Castillo tied Rogers Hornsby’s 80-year-old record for the longest hitting streak by a second baseman, going 2-for-4 to make it 33 games in a row Wednesday night as the Florida Marlins beat Cleveland 2-1.

Castillo had a hand in both Florida runs. He was 0-for-2 before beating out a dribbler to the pitcher in the sixth inning, and he scored the tying run on Cliff Floyd’s single.

His one-out single to right in the seventh drove in Preston Wilson.

Castillo tied four players at 33 games in a row _ Hornsby of St. Louis in 1922, Heinie Manush of Washington in 1933, Hal Chase of the New York Yankees in 1907 and George Davis of the New York Giants in 1893. Only 13 players have had a longer streak, including just four since 1949.

The speedy leadoff hitter extended the streak when he topped a 1-0 pitch that pitcher Danys Baez fielded on the second hop between the mound and plate. Baez’s hurried throw sailed over first baseman Jim Thome, and Castillo continued to second.

Official scorer Ron Jernick immediately credited Castillo with a hit and charged Baez with an error for allowing the runner to advance. TV replays confirmed the call, showing that Castillo reached first as the throw sailed past.

The Dominican is one game from matching Benito Santiago’s record for the longest hitting streak by a Latin player, set in 1987. Castillo’s streak is the longest in the majors since then.

But the streak has yet to shake South Florida out of its apathy toward the Marlins. The game drew just 9,428, which is below the team’s season average of 11,220.

Castillo is not yet a national celebrity. As he chases Joe DiMaggio’s record 56-game streak, a New York Post headline said: ``Nation Turns Its Lonely Eyes to Who?″

Still, Castillo is beginning to feel the glare of the spotlight, saying Wednesday he’ll no longer talk to the media before games.

He looked tentative at the plate in the first inning, twice squaring to bunt before taking a called third strike on a 2-2 pitch that just caught the outside corner.

In the third he grounded to shortstop Omar Vizquel, who threw a one-hopper to Thome that barely beat Castillo. Despite the low throw, Jernick said he would have credited Castillo with a hit if he had been called safe.

Florida beat Cleveland for the second consecutive night in a rematch of the 1997 World Series, which the Marlins also won. They’re 5-3 during a streak when they’ll play 31 consecutive games against teams that have losing records.

Cleveland lost for the fourth time in five games.

Julian Tavarez (5-3), who was with the Indians from 1993 to 1996, pitched against them for the first time. He allowed one run and four hits in seven innings and remained unbeaten in his past six starts.

The Indians put the go-ahead run on base in the ninth, but Vladimir Nunez retired Jolbert Cabrera for his 16th save in 20 chances. He gave up a leadoff single to Travis Fryman and walked Bill Selby with one out.

Wilson started Florida’s winning rally in the seventh with a walk against Jerrod Riggan (1-1). Pinch hitter Tim Raines also walked, and Castillo followed with a single for his 14th RBI during the streak.

Cleveland scored in the first when Vizquel reached on an infield single, Thome walked and Ellis Burks singled home a run. That ended a shutout streak by Marlins starters of 26 1-3 innings.

Einar Diaz doubled leading off the second, but that was the Indians’ last hit until the seventh.

Notes: The Marlins improved to 17-16 during Castillo’s streak. ... Baez batted for the first time in his career in the second inning, and Tavarez needed 10 pitches to retire him on a groundout. Wilson ran down Baez’s fly to deep center in the fifth. ... Burks increased his on-base percentage against Tavarez to .769. He’s 3-for-6 with seven walks.

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