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Rollins' hitting streak ends at 38

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Jimmy Rollins watched the final out with his
bat in his hands, turned and walked down the steps of the dugout.

He was more disappointed over Philadelphia's third straight loss
than the end of his 38-game hitting streak.

Rollins went 0-for-4, snapping a hitting streak that stretched
over two seasons, and the Phillies lost 4-2 to the St. Louis
Cardinals on Thursday.

"I said I'd trade a hit for a win," Rollins said.
"Unfortunately it didn't happen."

After finishing with a 36-game hitting streak last year, Rollins
kept up his pursuit of Joe DiMaggio's major league record 56-game
streak with hits in his first two games this season.

But he was hitless in three tries against Jason Marquis -- he's
3-for-25 against him -- and one at-bat against Josh Hancock. Rollins
flied out to right field (first inning), left field (fifth) and
center field (seventh), and was retired trying to bunt for a single
in the third.

Rollins was the fifth batter due up in the ninth, but Jason
Isringhausen retired the side in order, getting Mike Lieberthal to
ground out to third base for the final out.

"The thing I like best is we went after him every time the
whole series," said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who signaled
for a strike before Rollins doubled against Adam Wainwright on a
3-0 pitch with the streak on the line in the eighth inning of
Monday's opener. "He didn't walk one time."

Rollins' season-ending 36-game hitting streak was the
ninth-longest over one season in big league history, and the
longest in the majors since 1987, when Paul Molitor hit safely in
39 consecutive games. The 38-game streak is the eighth-longest
overall.

A three-time All-Star shortstop, Rollins' pursuit of DiMaggio's
65-year-old record had a catch. DiMaggio accomplished his feat in
the same season in 1941. The major league marks for longest hitting
streak in one season and longest hitting streak spanning two
seasons are separate records.

DiMaggio holds both with his 56-game streak, but there is a
difference in the NL records: Pete Rose (1978) and Willie Keeler
(1897) share the NL mark at 44 games. However, Keeler got a hit in
his final game of 1896, so his run of 45 games overall was the
first record Rollins could've eclipsed.

The old Phillies franchise record of 31 was set by Ed Delahanty
in 1899.

"I appreciated it from the time I knew about it," Rollins said
of DiMaggio's record. "That's a large number."

Marquis (1-0) pitched 5 1-3 effective innings and had an RBI
double, Jim Edmonds singled in the go-ahead run in a four-run fifth
inning and the Cardinals swept a three-game series in Philadelphia
for the first time since 1986.

Philadelphia hadn't started 0-3 since losing the first three
games in Arizona in 2000. The Phillies' last 0-3 start at home came
in 1982 with one loss to the New York Mets and two against
Montreal.

"Every day you lose is disappointing," Phillies manager
Charlie Manuel said. "When you start the season and lose the first
three, you have to regroup and play better."

Marquis gave up two runs and five hits. An NL Silver Slugger
Award winner last year, Marquis got the Cardinals going in the
fifth with a run-scoring double off Cory Lidle that cut the deficit
to 2-1.

After David Eckstein popped up a bunt, Juan Encarnacion reached
on third baseman David Bell's fielding error. Albert Pujols,
Edmonds and Scott Rolen followed with consecutive RBI singles to
give the Cardinals a 4-2 lead.

"I enjoy hitting and anything I can do to help win the game
helps the team," Marquis said.

Lidle (0-1) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third by striking
out Edmonds to end the inning. He retired the side in order with
two strikeouts in the fourth, but ran into trouble when he hit
Aaron Miles to start the fifth and Marquis followed with his hit.

Lidle allowed four runs -- three earned -- and six hits in five
innings. None of Philadelphia's starters -- Jon Lieber, Brett Myers
and Lidle -- have pitched more than five innings and they have a
9.45 ERA in the first three games.

Marquis left after Pat Burrell walked with one out to put two
runners on in the sixth. Ricardo Rincon came in and struck out Ryan
Howard. Hancock then entered and retired Bell on a grounder to
shortstop. Hancock pitched a scoreless seventh, Randy Flores worked
a perfect eighth and Isringhausen finished for his second save in
two tries.

Lieberthal's RBI double in the third gave the Phillies a 1-0
lead. Bobby Abreu and Chase Utley hit consecutive two-out doubles
to left field to make it 2-0 in the fourth.

Game notes
Marquis batted .310 (27-for-87) with one homer and 10 RBI
last season. ... Abreu was 1-for-19 against Marquis before he
doubled. ... Bell had two errors. ... The Cardinals' relievers
pitched 3 2-3 hitless innings.