Span extends hitting streak to 25 in first at-bat

Span extends hitting streak to 25 in first at-bat

WASHINGTON -- It took all of two pitches for Denard Span to extend his career-best hitting streak to 25 games Saturday night against the Phillies.

Span laced a single to center field in his first at-bat, then stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch by left-hander Cole Hamels. Span scored on a sacrifice fly by Jayson Werth to put the Nationals ahead, 1-0. The Nationals' leadoff hitter finished 3-for-5 in a 5-4 loss.

"I was ready and I felt good with my cage work today," Span said. "So, I just took it to the game."

Entering Saturday, Span had lifted his season batting average from .258 to .280 during the streak, which has featured one four-hit game and five three-hit performances. His streak is the second-longest in the Major Leagues this season behind his former teammate in Minnesota, Michael Cuddyer of the Rockies, who had a 27-game streak.

Span also had a memorable game on the basepaths Saturday night. In addition to his steal in the first inning, he stole both second and third base after singling in the fifth inning. His three swipes Saturday marked a career high.

"I was definitely able to get some good jumps on [Hamels] when I got on base," Span said. "He's not that quick to the plate. Actually, he's pretty slow. I was able to get good jumps and steal some bases."

Tom Schad is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.