Aug. 2 (UPI) — Detroit Tigers reliever Tyler Alexander tied the American League record for consecutive strikeouts after mowing down the first nine Cincinnati Reds batters he faced.
In the Tigers’ 4-3 home loss to the Reds in the opener of a doubleheader Sunday at Comerica Park, Alexander entered the game in the third inning and proceeded to strike out nine Reds hitters in a row, setting a MLB record for a reliever and tying starter Doug Fister’s AL mark.
His streak came to an end in the top of the sixth — one short of equaling Tom Seaver’s overall record of 10 — when he hit Mike Moustakas with a 1-2 pitch.
Alexander finished with 10 strikeouts and one walk in 3 2/3 innings. According to ESPN Stats & Information, his 10 punchouts were the most in a game by a relief pitcher since Baseball Hall of Famer Randy Johnson struck out 16 on July 18, 2001.
“I normally don’t try to strike people out,” Alexander told reporters, “but I would say after the fifth strikeout I was trying to strike people out.”
Following the game, the Tigers announced that the hat Alexander wore during the matchup is headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
The Reds held a 2-0 lead over the Tigers in the top of the seventh in the second game of the doubleheader Sunday night.