Audio: Watson extends streak
Audio: Watson singles in a run
Audio: Watson strikes again
Watson catches Hilligoss
Brandon Watson extended his hitting streak to 39 games but it wasn't enough as Syracuse rallied for a 6-5 victory over host Columbus Tuesday afternoon.
Watson hit infield singles in the first and fourth innings, either of which could arguably have been ruled an error. The 25-year-old then laced a single to center field in the sixth for his third hit and final hit of the ballgame.
Watson's streak is now the longest in the Minor Leagues this season surpassing that of the Charleston RiverDogs' Mitch Hilligoss, whose 38-gamer came to an end earlier this month.
"It's cool, it's definitely an honor," Watson said. "I'm just having fun with it. Everybody else is having fun with it too."
At 39 games, Watson's run is the Minor Leagues' best since Orlando Moreno hit in 43 straight for Louisville in 1961, and the 14th longest all-time. He is within three games of the all-time International League record, set by Jack Lelivelt of Rochester in 1912.
Watson's ultimate goal, though, is getting to the Major Leagues, and he said if those powers-that-be are watching his streak it can only benefit him.
"I would hope so," he said. "You never know who is watching."
Yet, for all Watson's history-making, the Chiefs (31-33) came away with the victory in a seesaw contest.
"[The loss] dampens it a bit," Watson said. "The main focus is to win as much as possible. It was a tough game and we lost."
Down after five innings, 5-3, Syracuse scored single runs in the sixth, seventh and ninth frames, with Kevin Barker's RBI double proving to be the game-winner. Chad Mottola, John-Ford Griffin and Russ Adams all contributed solo homers for the Chiefs.
Kory Casto put the Clippers (29-36) on the board in the first with a single that plated Watson. Watson lofted a sacrifice fly in the second and his fourth-inning single scored Brent Abernathy. Larry Broadway's RBI single in the fifth put a cap on the tally for Columbus.
Jim Crowell (1-2) tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Michael MacDonald and earned the win. Blaine Neal hurled a scoreless ninth to pick up his sixth save, with the game ending when pinch-runner Darnell McDonald was thrown out attempting to steal second.
Edward Valdez (1-4) allowed Barker's ninth-inning double and took the loss. Starter Felix Diaz surrendered three runs on seven hits over five innings. -- Benjamin Hill/MLB.com
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.