Audio: Watson sets the IL record
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Watson matches the mark
Brandon Watson established a new International League record by hitting safely in his 43rd straight game as Columbus fell to Ottawa, 9-8, in 11 innings Sunday.
"It's unbelievable. I don't have any words for it," the 25-year-old center fielder said. "I believe that I've been fortunate to surpass such a record."
The 25-year-old center fielder flied out in the first inning and lined out in the third before ripping a single in the sixth to break the 95-year-old record set by Rochester's Jack Lelivelt.
"[Ottawa starter J.D. Durbin] threw a slider, and I just stayed on it enough to get it up the middle," Watson explained. "Today was a little tougher because it was the day to break the record."
Watson struck out in his second at-bat in the sixth and again in the eighth before being replaced in the ninth. He is batting .360 (63-for-175) with six doubles, a triple, 19 runs scored and 10 RBIs during the streak that began May 1.
"My dad is a big baseball fan. To do something of this caliber on Father's Day is special," he said.
The streak ties three other players for the seventh-longest in Minor League history. Eddie Marshall hit in 43 consecutive games with Milwaukee in 1935, Howie Bedell matched the mark with Big Spring in 1947 and Orlando Moreno did so with Louisville in 1961. And Watson could only find one other career moment to stand with it.
"[In] my first Major League game, I hit a homer," he said.
Jason Jaramillo and Gary Burnham hit back-to-back singles in the bottom of the 11th before Jim Rushford followed with a game-winning base hit for the Lynx (29-36). Burnham went 4-for-6 with four RBIs and slammed a two-run homer, his second, in the ninth to send the game into extra innings. Pedro Swann led off the second with his third homer, and Joe Thurston went 5-for-6 with three runs scored and an RBI.
The extra-inning dramatics made a winner of reliever Rick Bauer (2-4), who gave up one hit in a scoreless 11th. Durbin yielded six runs -- three earned -- on seven hits, while walking two and fanning two over 5 2/3 frames. The 25-year-old right-hander also drove in a run.
Columbus reliever Alex Morales (1-1) surrendered one run on four hits with a strikeout, while retiring four batters. Starter Felix Diaz allowed five runs on six hits and a walk in two innings.
Michael Restovich slugged a two-run homer, his ninth, during a five-run sixth that lifted the Clippers (31-38) to a 6-6 tie, and Darnell McDonald and Bernie Castro delivered go-ahead RBI singles in the eighth. Brandon Harper and Manny Alexander also plated a run apiece.
Marissa Rega is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.