Green streaks

Heading into Sunday’s series finale against the Twins, right-fielder Alex Rios had hit safely in each of his previous seven games, posting a .536 (15-for-28) average during that span to raise his season mark to .309. The 26-year-old also opened the 2007 season by hitting safely in his first 11 contests. That currently stands as the Jays’ highest mark so far this year.

SgreenIn the team’s 30-year history, 12 different players have managed to compile hitting streaks of 20 games or more. Two of those players — Vernon Wells and Reed Johnson — are still members of the Jays. Both accomplished the feat in 2003, each hitting safely in precisely 20 straight contests. Impressively, teammate Mike Bordick did the same that year, giving Toronto three players with hit streaks of 20 games for the first time in franchise history.

At 26 games, John Olerud and Shannon Stewart jointly hold the second-longest hitting streak by a Toronto Blue Jay. Stewart turned the trick from August 1-29, 1999, during which time he batted .342 (39-for-114). During that stretch, Stewart went nine straight games where he recorded just a single base hit. Olerud, meanwhile, compiled his 26-gamer during the 1993 campaign — the year in which he batted .363 to become the first Blue Jay to win the American League batting title. The streak lasted from May 26 – June 22, and Olerud batted .435 (40-for-92) during that span. On the day before the streak ended, Olerud went 4-for-4 against the New York Yankees to raise his season average to .411 (71 games into the season).

Though he made a valiant effort, Stewart fell two games shy of matching the Jays’ franchise mark in 1999, which, ironically, was set by teammate Shawn Green that same season. Green hit safely in 28 straight from June 29 – July 31, batting .366 (41-for-112) during that stretch. On July 31 against the Detroit Tigers, Green extended the mark to 28 games with a 2-for-4 performance that included his 30th home run of the year. He was officially halfway to Joe Dimaggio’s Major League-record 56-game hitting streak. However, that would be as close as he would get, as the following day Green went hitless in the series finale against the Tigers at SkyDome. Interestingly, that day — August 1 — marked the beginning of Stewart’s streak.

Here are the 12 players with 20-plus game hitting streaks:

1. Shawn Green — 28 games (1999)

T2. John Olerud — 26 games (1993)

T2. Shannon Stewart — 26 games (1999)

T4. George Bell — 22 games (1989)

T4. Carlos Delgado — 22 games (2000)

T6. Damaso Garcia — 21 games (1983)

T6. Lloyd Moseby — 21 games (1983)

T6. Dave Martinez — 21 games (2000)

T9. Damaso Garcia — 20 games (1982)

T9. Vernon Wells — 20 games (2003)

T9. Mike Bordick — 20 games (2003)

T9. Reed Johnson — 20 games (2003)

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