NEW YORK – Andre Ethier singled in the first inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers' game against the New York Mets on Friday night, becoming the first major league player in two years with a 30-game hitting streak.
Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese fell behind 3-0, and Ethier lined the next pitch to center field. The previous player with a hitting streak of that length was Washington's Ryan Zimmerman, who hit in 30 straight games from April 8 to May 12, 2009.
The 29-year-old Ethier was scratched from the starting lineup for the first time this season on Wednesday because of an inflamed left elbow. He was batting .387 during the streak.
Ethier has the 45th single-season streak of 30 or more games, the 38th from 1900 on, according to STATS LLC. He is one game shy of the Dodgers record, set by Willie Davis from Aug. 1 to Sept. 3, 1969. Ethier surpassed Zack Wheat's 29-game streak for the second-longest in club history. Wheat's streak was from Aug. 20 to Sept. 16, 1916, when the team played in Brooklyn.
"Someone asked me who Zack Wheat was," Ethier said before the game. "I thought he was another minor leaguer we had. I thought he was being called up."
The last player with a streak of more than 30 games was Philadelphia's Chase Utley, who hit in 35 in a row from June 23 to Aug. 3, 2006.
"I'm not losing a wink of sleep about it," Ethier said before the game, happy to discuss his streak.
This summer marks the 70th anniversary of Joe DiMaggio's record 56-game hitting streak for the New York Yankees.
"Fifty-six — that's a long way away," Ethier said.