Tigers’ Fister strikes out a record nine in a row
(Reuters) – Detroit pitcher Doug Fister set an American League record by striking out nine consecutive batters as the first-place Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 5-4 yesterday to boost their playoff hopes.
The win temporarily moved Detroit 1-1/2 games ahead of the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central division.
Fister’s strikeout streak began with the Royals’ final out of the fourth inning and ended with Salvador Perez’s ground out to end the seventh.
Four American League pitchers had struck out eight batters in a row. Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan accomplished it twice. Blake Stein, Roger Clemens and Ron Davis each did it once.
New York Mets’ Hall of Famer Tom Seaver holds the Major League record of 10, set in 1970.
Fister, a tall right-hander with a 10-9 record, left the game after 7-2/3 innings with a 4-3 lead, but did not figure in the decision.
Detroit won the game on Alex Avila’s run-scoring groundout in the ninth.
In the American League West, the Texas Rangers strengthened their division lead with a 9-7 victory over the Oakland Athletics.
The win, highlighted by pitcher Matt Harrison 18th victory, gave the two-time AL champions a four-game lead over the Athletics with six games remaining in the regular season.
Harrison (18-10) pitched six innings, giving up four runs and seven hits, in becoming the Rangers’ first 18-game winner since Kenny Rogers in 2004.