Braves OF Diaz ties NL record for consecutive hits

WASHINGTON (Ticker) - Although star Chipper Jones got most of the headlines for slugging three homers in a game for the first time in his career, little known Matt Diaz tied a National League record on Monday.

Diaz picked up hits in his first four at-bats in Atlanta’s 10-4 victory over the Washington Nationals. That gave the utility outfielder hits in 10 consecutive at-bats.

The righthanded-hitting Diaz hit a two-run homer in the second and supplied run-scoring singles in the fourth and fifth. The left fielder’s infield single in the seventh matched the NL record last set in 1992 by Cincinnati’s Bip Roberts.

“You don’t expect to come into a game after having had a good day (Sunday) and go have four hits in a row again,” Diaz said. “So it’s not something you even think about but it was fun as it unfolded, especially in a game where we were winning and I could enjoy it a little bit.”

Diaz is batting .351 (66-for-188) with five homers and 24 RBI in 86 games.

“It’s been amazing, 10 hits in a row,” Braves manager Bobby Cox added. “The guy’s hit about .340 all year long. He deserves to play a little bit more so I left him in there.”

Diaz had a chance to extend his streak in the ninth but grounded out.

The 28-year-old Diaz also set a new franchise record, breaking Marcus Giles’ streak of nine straight hits in 2003.

“I had no idea but I was sure running as hard as I could,” said Diaz, who broke his bat on his final at-bat.

“The bat died a hero, as they say. That was a lot of fun.”

“Matty’s had a great season for us and he’s really been swinging the bat well,” Jones said. “You think about 10 hits in a row, that’s 2 1/2 games of doing nothing but hitting. That’s pretty impressive in it’s own right.”

Diaz started the streak against Milwaukee on Saturday, going 2-for-2 with a pair of singles. He added four more hits, including two doubles, against the Brewers the following day.

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Updated Tuesday, Aug 15, 2006