ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Ketel Marte is becoming the Joe DiMaggio of October.
Every time he’s played a postseason game, Marte has at least one hit. His latest, a fifth-inning RBI double off Nathan Eovaldi, gave the Arizona Diamondbacks a two-run lead in a 6-5, 11-inning loss to the Texas Rangers that opened the World Series on Friday night.
While a fraction of Joe D.’s record 56-game hitting streak for the 1941 New York Yankees, Marte’s 17-game run is the longest at the start of a postseason career. The switch-hitting infielder tied the overall postseason record, matching a mark shared by the New York Yankees’ Hank Bauer (1956-58 World Series), the Yankees’ Derek Jeter (1998-99) and Boston’s Manny Ramirez (2003-04).
Marte didn’t get the souvenir ball.
“It stays in the mind. Memories,” he said.
Marte is hitting .345 with two homers and nine RBIs in 13 games this postseason. He lined a curveball from Nathan Eovaldi 402 feet off the base of the wall in right-center to score Geraldo Perdomo, who singled and stole second.
Now 30, Marte grew up in the Dominican Republic and signed with Seattle as a 16-year-old in 2010. After playing for the Mariners in 2015 and ’16, he was traded to Arizona with pitcher Taijuan Walker for outfielder Mitch Haniger, infielder Jean Segura and pitcher Zac Curtis.
Marte had three hits, including two triples, in a 2017 wild-card win over Colorado and was 4 for 12 as Arizona got swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series that year.
He remained with the Diamondbacks through unsuccessful seasons that included 110 losses in 2021. He had a standout 2019, when he became an All-Star and finished fourth in NL MVP voting after setting career bests with a .329 average, 32 homers and 92 RBIs. Slowed by a right groin injury this September, he batted .276 with 25 homers and 82 RBIs in his second-best season.
Marte combined with Corbin Carroll for homers on consecutive pitches from Corbin Burnes as Arizona opened the Wild Card Series with a 6-3 win at Milwaukee, then put the Diamondbacks ahead for good with a two-run, sixth-inning single as they completed a two-game sweep.
His leadoff double sparked a six-run first inning against Clayton Kershaw, starting the Diamondbacks to an opening Division Series victory at the Los Angeles Dodgers. Marte was among the Arizona players who combined to hit a record four homers in the third inning of Game 3, completing another sweep.
Marte batted .387 with four doubles and a triple in the NL Championship Series against Philadelphia, hitting a walk-off single against Craig Kimbrel in Game 3 and earning MVP honors as Arizona overcame a 2-0 NLCS deficit.
“We went down 2-0 against Philly, so we can come back from this as well,” Marte said.
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