Watson Has 39-Game Hitting Streak

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Brandon Watson, the Nationals' Opening Day center fielder in 2006 now playing for Class AAA Columbus, extended his hitting streak yesterday to a remarkable 39 games, going 3 for 4 against Syracuse. The streak is the second-longest in the history of the International League, trailing only a 42-game tear from Rochester's Jack Lelivelt in 1912.

How does a guy with a .176 average in 35 major league games hit .350 in Class AAA during such a stretch?

"He's worked hard," General Manager Jim Bowden said. "I think being released, as he was, was a wake-up call for him."

Watson was released by the Tigers earlier this season, and the Nationals brought him back. Bowden said he is "not afraid to go the other way" now. . . .

Columbus RHP Emiliano Fruto returned from missing a month with a sore right elbow to throw six scoreless innings Sunday, allowing five hits, striking out seven and walking only one. Columbus IF D'Angelo Jimenez is hitting .395 and has reached base in 33 straight games for the Clippers. . . . The promotion of four players -- including last year's first-round draft pick, Chris Marrero -- to high-Class A Potomac on Monday also meant a promotion for OF Dee Brown, who went from Potomac to Class AA Harrisburg. Brown was hitting .284 with 14 doubles for the P-Nats. "He deserved it," Bowden said. . . . The Nationals assigned their second-round pick, IF Jake Smolinski, to their rookie-level Gulf Coast League affiliate.

-- Barry Svrluga

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