First-inning single pushes Ethier's streak to 30

First-inning single pushes Ethier's streak to 30

NEW YORK -- Andre Ethier had three hits Friday night, extending his hitting streak to 30 games, one short of Willie Davis' Dodgers franchise record.

And you have to like his chances to catch Davis, as the Mets on Saturday night start Chris Young. Against Young, Ethier is 12-for-29 (.414) lifetime with six homers.

But after the Dodgers' 6-3 loss to the Mets, Ethier emphasized how awkward it is to be glorified for personal hits while his club has hit the skids.

"The guys here aren't hanging their heads, but they're disappointed, it's been a tough stretch the last seven, eight games here," said Ethier, whose Dodgers have lost their last three and five of the last six.

"I'm standing in front of you on a regular basis, but a couple of games we lost by one run and I got one hit that had nothing to do with the outcome of the game. It's tough to sit here and get asked questions and be too excited about it."

Ethier has the longest hitting streak in the Major Leagues since Ryan Zimmerman's 30-game streak in 2009. It is the second-longest in team history, breaking a tie with Zach Wheat from 1916.

"Other than talking to you guys, I'm not really thinking about [the streak]," he said. "I get a lot of support from my teammates, from fans at home, even fans on the road. They want a hit, but not do too much. It's nice to have the support and you don't want to let people down in that context."

Ethier returned to the lineup on Friday after missing a game Wednesday with a sore elbow, but according to baseball rule 10.23(b), the streak remained intact.

According to baseball rule 10.23(b): A consecutive-game hitting streak shall not be terminated if all of a batter's plate appearances (one or more) in a game result in a base on balls, hit batsman, defensive interference or obstruction or a sacrifice bunt. The streak shall terminate if the player has a sacrifice fly and no hit. A player's individual consecutive-game hitting streak shall be determined by the consecutive games in which such player appears and is not determined by his club's games.

Ethier got a hit on March 31, but his streak began on April 2. He went 0-for-4 on April 1 against the Giants.

He ended the suspense early on Friday, lining a 3-0 pitch from Jon Niese into center field with one out in the first inning. Ethier also singled in the fifth and seventh innings and flied out in the third and ninth innings.

"It's a good situation to get the hit early and get it out of the way," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "I'm sure it's better for him. When you have to answer questions, it's there. You can't put that totally out of your mind. He's been impressive."

Ethier is batting .397 during the streak and .379 overall on the season.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.