MIAMI (AP) A hit and an RBI. Jorge Cantu has gotten at least one of each in every game of this young season to put together a unique streak.
Cantu homered Wednesday night, making him the first player in major league history to have at least one hit and one RBI in each of his team’s first nine games, and the Florida Marlins beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-3.
Cantu’s mark dates to 1920, when RBIs became an official statistic. Including last season, Cantu has 13 consecutive games with a hit and an RBI, the longest string since Mike Piazza went 15 straight from June 14-July 2, 2000.
Cantu hit a solo home run in the fifth inning. He entered the game tied with George Kelly of the 1921 New York Giants with at least one hit and RBI in the opening eight games, based on research by the Elias Sports Bureau.
“It’s a great honor,” Cantu said. “I’m going to keep pushing myself and get hungrier for more.”
Cantu had hit into a double play and struck out in his two previous at-bats before coming up with nobody on and one out in the fifth. He drove Homer Bailey’s slider over the wall in left field.
“It’s like, wow, I accomplished something very big,” Cantu said. “It hit me when I was running the bases.”
Brett Carroll homered in his first game of the season for Florida. The Marlins activated him from the 15-day disabled list before the game after his left oblique strain healed. Carroll finished with three hits, including a double and a single, in four at-bats.
“It’s just one game, but it’s humbling,” Carroll said. “Yesterday I’m playing in a rehab game, not knowing what the next move is, and tonight I’m playing left field and exciting things are happening.”
Chris Volstad (1-1) pitched 6 2-3 innings, giving up five hits and three runs while striking out five. Burke Badenhop was successful in his first save opportunity of the season. Volstad threw 117 pitches.
“It didn’t feel like 117,” Volstad says. “Maybe because it wasn’t as hot and humid as it usually is. It felt good to get over that hump and get that pitch count up there.”
Bailey (0-1) allowed five runs on eight hits and four walks in 5 1-3 innings.
“I just couldn’t locate where I wanted to,” Bailey said. “Later (in the game) I started to feel a little better but I made a couple of mistakes and they cost me.”
John Baker singled home Carroll in the sixth for a 5-1 lead. The Reds drew closer in the seventh when Paul Janish hit a two-out, two-run homer off Volstad.
“It pulled us closer but in the end we didn’t get the result we wanted,” Janish said.
The Marlins took a 1-0 lead in the first when Cameron Maybin led off with a single and scored on Baker’s double. Florida added another run in the second when Volstad singled in Gaby Sanchez.
The Reds closed to 2-1 in the fourth when Jonny Gomes singled in Brandon Phillips, who walked to open the inning. It was the first hit given up by Volstad and it came on his 71st pitch.
NOTES: Marlins LF Chris Coghlan missed Wednesday’s game with sore ribs. Last year’s NL Rookie of the Year, he is struggling with a .132 average. He sustained the injury when he made a diving catch of a fly ball in Tuesday’s game. … Marlins RHP Jose Veras was designated for assignment on Wednesday. The Marlins recalled RHP Chris Leroux from Triple-A New Orleans. INF Emilio Bonifacio was optioned to New Orleans.