With a single on Sunday, Johnny Damon ran his hit streak to 13 games. A 13-game hitting streak is inconsequential for the Yankees or Red Sox of Damon’s past, but for a young franchise like the Rays, it means he could soon become a part of their record books.
The current franchise record sits at 19 games, set by Jason Bartlett during the 2009 season. Previously, Quinton McCracken established an 18-game streak during the team’s inaugural season of play (1998), which had stood the test of time. As is stands, the Rays have only witnessed nine streaks of 14-plus games, with Sean Rodriguez’s 15-game stretch ending last June and Ben Zobrist’s 16-game streak ending in early April as part of a wraparound.
Carl Crawford’s career best was 13-games, which he reached four times over his illustrious Tampa Bay career and Evan Longoria has a pair of 12-gamers.
Here are the other streaks of note:
19 games: Jason Bartlett (2009)
18 games: Quinton McCracken (1998)
17 games: Aubrey Huff (2002)
16 games: Ben Zobrist (2009-2010), Aaron Ledesma (1998-1999)
15 games: Sean Rodriguez (2010), Aubrey Huff (15 games)
14 games: Carlos Pena (2007), Fred McGriff (2000)
On the flip side, Reid Brignac had went nine games without a hit before getting his first on April 5, ending a streak that tied him for the fourth worst in franchise history. Jonny Gomes and Jose Cruz Jr. (11 games) share the distinction for the longest stretch without a hit in franchise history, with Gomes also owning the record for most games without reaching base in any capacity.
Oddly, Gomes also set the third longest streak without reaching in 2008 and Justin Ruggiano claimed the second spot that season too, meaning the 2008 season yielded the three worst offensive runs in recent history.