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Dodgers' Skip Schumaker looks to extend career-best hitting streak

June 07, 2013|By Stephen Bailey
  • Dodgers' Skip Schumaker hits a double against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers' Skip Schumaker hits a double against the San Diego Padres… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

In his last at-bat of the Dodgers’ 5-0 win over the Braves on Thursday night, Skip Schumaker smacked the first pitch he saw from reliever Cory Gearrin up the middle to extend his career-best hitting streak to 13 games.

The one-out, eighth-inning single set up Yasiel Puig’s mammoth grand slam later in the frame, but was also a continuation of the second-longest hitting streak of a Dodgers player this season. Schumaker will look to match Matt Kemp (April 30-May-15) for the longest such streak of any Dodgers player this season in Friday’s game against the Braves.

“I’m probably not going to break [Joe] DiMaggio’s record so it’s not something that’s on my mind,” Schumaker said. “I’m just trying to get good at-bats every night and hope for the best.”

After being traded from the St. Louis Cardinals in December, Schumaker started the season hitless in his first seven games and went just five for 42 in his first 23. He began to heat up in mid-May and is hitting .395 (17 for 43) during the hitting streak with three doubles and four runs batted in. His most recent extra-base hit, a gap shot to right-center Wednesday night, broke up Padres starter Jason Marquis’s no-hitter in the sixth inning.

Two of his last three streak-extending swings have come in his last at-bats of the respective games, but Schumaker insists the streak is not something he’s thinking about.

“I was so bad for so long that I was hoping something good was going to happen,” he said. “I needed a good May and a good June to get back to where I needed to be and where I’m supposed to be.”

In addition to the 13-game streak, Schumaker’s had a hit in 18 of his last 20 games. The highlight of the turnaround came during a three-game trip to Colorado on May 31-June 2 in which he turned in three straight multihit games and three total RBIs.

Schumaker will look to match Kemp’s season-best mark when the Dodgers face Braves left-hander Paul Maholm on Friday night. Schumaker is one for three in his career against Maholm with no extra-base hits or RBIs.

“I think Skip’s just getting comfortable,” said Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly. “It seemed like he was trying to do a lot and it’s pretty natural for a guy who comes over from another organization, trying to show what he can do while also being a kid who grew up in the [Torrance] area.”

stephen.bailey@latimes.com

Twitter: @Stephen_Bailey1

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