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ROBERTS EQUALS NL RECORD WITH 10TH CONSECUTIVE HIT

With a little bit of luck and a lot of gumption, Bip Roberts wrote his name into the National League record book.

Despite an ankle injury, a long day at the park Tuesday and a tiring flight across the country, the doggedly determined Roberts got that 10th consecutive hit.He led off Wednesday's game for Cincinnati with a sharp single to right to tie the NL mark for consecutive hits. After walking his second time up, Roberts hit a hard chopper back to Dodger pitcher Pedro Astacio to end the streak.

Following the Reds' 3-0 victory over Los Angeles, the personable Roberts reflected on his accomplishment, saying: "It's very hard to get that many hits in a row. You have to have a lot of luck on your side. You have to be hitting the ball well, and you also have to have things go your way.

"It seemed like the ball was coming in slowly and I just put the bat up there and it hit it."

Rain even figured in Roberts' tying the NL standard. Monday night in Cincinnati, he flew out in his first at-bat against the Astros, but the game was called in the fifth inning and his streak was resurrected.

And, in his first at-bat Wednesday night, he took two quick called strikes from Astacio, then came within a whisker of striking out. Astacio's third pitch to him was outside, and Roberts started to swing but was barely able to hold up. The pitch was called a ball.

"I turned around to look and (Dodger catcher Mike) Scioscia had it framed like it was a strike, but I thought it was a ball," Roberts said.

He took another pitch for a ball, then laced a drive to right field.

"I knew it was going to drop in," Roberts said.

He became the eighth player to tie a record first set by Ed Delahanty of Philadelphia on July 13-14, 1897. It was last accomplished by the Reds' Woody Williams in September 1943.

The major league record of 12 straight hits was set by Boston's Pinky Higgins in 1938 and matched by Detroit's Walt Dropo in 1952.

Roberts said he was exhausted after his big night.

"I'm a little relieved that it's all over," he said. "I don't have any emotion left. I felt like I ran into a wall."

He walked on a 3-1 count in the third. Then, in the fifth, he bounced back to the mound on the first pitch.

"I always told myself not to swing at the first pitch," Roberts said. "I regret it a little that I did. Astacio made a good play on the ball and it was over."

Tim Pugh (4-1) held the Dodgers to four hits in eight innings to earn his fourth consecutive victory in his fifth big-league start. Pugh walked two and struck out three. Rob Dibble worked the ninth for his 23rd save.

The Reds won their seventh straight game, matching their season high, and stayed 61/2 games behind front-running Atlanta. The Braves beat San Francisco 7-0.