McLouth's memories sparked by Panda's streak

McLouth's memories sparked by Panda's streak

ATLANTA -- The season-opening hitting streak of San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval is rekindling memories of the best days of Nate McLouth's career.

Sandoval took a season-long 19-game hitting streak into the Giants' Friday night game against San Diego. It is the longest streak to open a season since 2008, when McLouth began his campaign for the National League All-Star team by hitting in the Bucs' first 19 games.

"It was a lot of fun. You want to start off the season well, and that's as good as you can start," said McLouth prior to the Pirates' opener of a four-game series with the Braves -- to whom the outfielder got dealt 14 months after that hitting streak.

"I was definitely aware of it. A lot of people don't want to talk about things like that. They'll hide, not wanting to jinx it or anything. I didn't care; I just wanted to get to 20. I really wanted that."

McLouth didn't get there, stopped on April 22 by Ricky Nolasco and Renyel Pinto of the Marlins. McLouth went 0-for-2, while walking twice, in the Pirates' 3-2 victory.

McLouth had batted .375 with an OPS of 1.082 during the streak, and collected 16 RBIs in the 19 games. He would cool off, but the early attention helped land the Pirates center fielder on that summer's NL All-Stars.