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Today in Blue Jays History: Horwitz Sets NWL Record Hitting Streak

Toronto Blue Jays Photo Day Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Two Years Ago Today

On August 8th, the Vancouver Canadians wrapped up a six-game “home” series against the Hillsboro Hops at Ron Tonkin Field (their home park). C’s first baseman Spencer Horwitz went 0-for-4, his third hitless game of a series. He finished 2-for-19 with one walk against six strikeouts. In fact, after jumping out to a robust .318/.521/.455 start in May, Horwitz had been struggling badly, hitting just .209/.294/.296 over the ensuing ten weeks.

Just over a month before, on a Sunday, was the last time Horwitz failed to get a hit in a game. Horwitz started every game the following week in Everett, recording a hit, a walk in each, and three multi-hit games. He started the series against Tri-City with a pair of four-hit games and kept it up back in Hillsboro and then again back in Everett. That made for four straight six-game series with hits, a 24-game hitting streak.

Vancouver was re-classified to the advanced-A level in this off-season’s minor league reorganization, having previously been a short-season team in the Northwest League. The slightly shrunken and unimaginatively named High-A West league is the successor to the NWL, with its record book carrying over and the record for longest hitting streak having stood since 1962 at 26 games.

On Wednesday, Horwitz lined a single to center field in the first inning to match Gary Johnson’s 59-year-old record. Interestingly, Johnson (who passed away in 2012) was later a scout who signed Donnie Murphy, the C’s current manager.

Last night, Horwitz was hit-by-a-pitch in the first inning by Spokane starter Chris McMahon and grounded to second on a 2-1 pitch his second time up. Reliever Moises Ceja came in for the 5th inning and had the first two reach on three pitches to bring Horwitz up. With a 1-0 count, at 8:50 local time, Horwitz lined a single to left field to set the record:

The only unfortunate part is that it came before 106 fans at the C’s “home away from home” rather than 6,000+ at a packed Nat Bailey in Vancouver.

For good measure, 23 minutes later, in the 6th, he pounded another line drive into right field for a second hit. That was his 13th multi-game of the streak (3x four-hit games, 2x three-hit games, 8x two hits), over which he’s hit a scorching .440/.532/.743 in 132 PA, with 12 doubles, 7 home runs and 19 walks against 15 strikeouts.