By Rhett Bollinger /

07/09/09 4:39 AM ET

Mariners prospect James McOwen didn't waste any time extending his hitting streak to 45 games as he singled in the first inning in Class A Advanced High Desert's 6-2 loss to the San Jose Giants on Wednesday.

McOwen went 2-for-4 with two singles and is now one game shy of tying Johnny Bates, who hit in 46 games straight for Nashville of the Southern Association in 1925, for the seventh-longest streak in Minor League history.

McOwen, who is batting .398 during the streak and .355 this season, is now 24 games short of all-time hit-streak leader Joe Wilhoit, who hit safely in 69 straight games in 1919 with Wichita of the Western League.

McOwen extended his streak to 44 games on Tuesday with a broken bat single in his last at-bat and talked about his current hitting streak. The hit on Tuesday made his streak the longest of the last 55 years, passing Brandon Watson's 43-game hit streak in 2007 with Columbus of the International League.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet as far as the last 55 years," McOwen said on Tuesday. "I'm just enjoying the moment and trying not to read too much into it. I don't want to talk myself out of anything."

The 23-year-old outfielder was drafted by the Mariners in the sixth round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.