Jimmy Rollins hit a leadoff home run on the first pitch from Mets starter Jae Seo last night in Philadelphia to extend his hittting streak to 31 games.

Rollins got a standing ovation before his at-bat and fans demanded a curtain call after his 12th homer of the year. He came out and waved to the crowd, which roared in appreciation.

It matched the longest hitting streak in Phillies history, tying him with Ed Delahanty's mark set in 1899, and is the longest streak since Florida's Luis Castillo hit in 35 straight in 2002.

It seems everyone is talking about Rollins's tear except the all-star shortstop.

Rollins downplayed the streak when the Phillies went 6-3 on their last road trip and moved within one game of the Houston Astros for the NL wild-card lead, insisting he didn't allow himself to think too much about it. Philadelphia's loss last night dropped it 11/2 behind.

With the Phillies back home to open a three-game series with the Mets, Rollins refused to speak to the print media, much as he has most of the past month.

"I think he's been playing absolutely unreal," Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel said before the rain-delayed game. "He's been hitting singles, doubles, triples, home runs. He's been stealing bases. He's been making plays all over the field."

* MCKEON HINTS AT RETIRING: Marlins Manager Jack McKeon hinted he won't be back in 2006. McKeon, 74, said he has made a decision, but that he hasn't talked to team owner Jeffrey Loria and will likely wait until after the season to disclose his plans. But he dropped hints, such as when he was asked what the Marlins need to improve next season. "I'll have to address that at the end of the season -- if I care to," he said with a coy smile.

-- From News Services

Jimmy Rollins's leadoff homer gives him the majors' longest hit streak since 2002.