Brantley steady, extends hitting streak to 20

Brantley steady, extends hitting streak to 20

Brantley steady, extends hitting streak to 20
CINCINNATI -- Michael Brantley is not even halfway to Joe DiMaggio's historic hitting streak, so Indians manager Manny Acta is hardly worried that the center fielder is beginning to feel any pressure during his impressive run.

"Not until you come to his locker every single day and start bringing it up," Acta said. "I think for the most part, they feel confident that they're swinging the bat well and things are going well for them, but I think it's kind of early for him to feel any kind of pressure. I mean, it's 56."

Fifty-six games is the big league record DiMaggio set with the Yankees in 1941. Sandy Alomar Jr. owns Cleveland's franchise record with a 30-game hitting streak in '97.

With a fourth-inning single in Wednesday's game against the Reds, Brantley extended his hitting streak to a career-best 20 games. Entering the contest, Cleveland's center fielder had hit .351 (26-for-74) with five extra-base hits, 11 runs and 15 RBIs over his past 19 games, lifting his season average to .286 from .255 in the process.

Brantley's run is the longest active streak in the Majors and the longest for an Indians hitter since Casey Blake's 26-game hitting streak in 2007. Brantley also enjoyed a 19-game run in 2010, making him only the second Cleveland batter -- Julio Franco (1988) being the other -- since 1921 to have two hitting streaks consisting of at least 19 games.

Just do not suggest to Acta that Brantley might be in the midst of a breakout season.

"Brantley was a very good player for us last year up until he injured his wrist," said Acta, referring to the right wrist issue that ended the outfielder's season in August. "Michael probably spent a month playing injured last year, up until he shut it down. He was on his way to having a pretty solid season for us.

"He's mature. He's a guy who knows he belongs here and, starting last year, with his confidence, you could tell."