Cantu's hitting streak ends at 21 games

Cantu's hitting streak ends at 21 games

DENVER -- On Sept. 28, 2009, Jorge Cantu went hitless in four at-bats against the Braves at Turner Field.

Nearly seven months later, Cantu again experienced what it was like to go without a hit.

The Marlins slugger went 0-for-4 against Rockies right-hander Aaron Cook in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader at Colorado, ending his hitting streak at 21 games.

Cantu had one last chance in the ninth inning against Cook, but he grounded out to third in the Marlins' 8-1 loss at Coors Field.

"First of all, I tip my hat to Cook, he pitched a heck of a game," said Cantu after Cook's complete-game victory. "He had everything going on for him. We couldn't get the bats going.

"About the streak: It had to come to an end some time. It came to an end tonight. Nothing you can do about it, but go out there tomorrow and start another one. It was a fun ride, for sure. I enjoyed it. Everybody came to me after the game and said how great it was. It feels great. It motivates you to start another one."

It was an impressive ride for the Marlins' slugger. In fact, Cantu did have a hit on Saturday, but it was in the first game of the twin bill.

Cantu grounded out in his first two at-bats in the nightcap. Although he didn't get a hit, Cantu did collect his 20th RBI when he delivered a run-scoring groundout off Cook in the sixth inning.

Earlier in the day, Cantu's streak reached 21 games when he lined an RBI single to center in the third inning of Game 1. The streak included hits in his first 17 games of the 2010 season. The single off Greg Smith was his lone hit in four at-bats of the Marlins' 4-1 victory.

The 21-game streak matches the fourth best in franchise history. Greg Colbrunn hit safely in 21 games in 1996.

The 17-game run was the longest to open a season in the big leagues since Nate McLouth hit safely in the first 19 games of 2008.

Before Game 1, Cantu said he liked hitting at Coors Field, where he entered the day 7-for-20 in his career.

Cantu opened the season by becoming the first player in MLB history to collect at least one hit and one RBI in each of his team's first 10 games. The previous record was eight by George Kelly of the 1921 New York Giants.

But after his string of games with an RBI ended, his hit streak kept going until Game 2.

Cantu's streak was the longest by a Marlins player since Kevin Millar had a hit in 25 straight from Aug. 24-Sept. 19, 2002.

The Marlins' all-time hitting streak leaders:

•35: Luis Castillo (May 8-June 21, 2002)
•25: Kevin Millar (Aug. 24-Sept. 19, 2002)
•22: Castillo (Aug. 9-Sept. 3, 1999)
•22: Edgar Renteria (July 25-Aug. 6, 1996)
•21: Greg Colbrunn (May 31-June 23, 1996)
•21: Jorge Cantu (Sept. 29, 2009-April 24, 2010)

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