Detroit Tigers’ Doug Fister has set the new consecutive strikeout pitching record for both the Tigers’ franchise and for Major League Baseball’s American League. Fister struck out nine straight batters to set the record for the Tigers’ 112- year old franchise. The American League record of eight straight batters was last repeated a little over 11 years ago.
Four errors by the Kansas City Royals (70-86), amounted to four runs by the Detroit Tigers (84-72), allowing the Tigers to sweep and make it through game four in the series. The only thing that wasn’t four was the amount of innings it took for this to happen. Two. In just two innings, the Royals amassed four errors and the Tigers capitalized, increasing their American League Central Division lead to 1.5 games, as they went on to defeat the Royals 5=4 in the bottom of the ninth. The Tigers returned returned the favor after being swept themselves by the Royals the last time they met, in Kansas City. Detroit finished this season with a stellar home- record of 50-31.
The story of tonight’s game, though, was Tiger’s Doug Fister, who after coming on the heels of his first career complete game shutout in his last start, was historic today. In his winning effort, Fister pitched 7.2 innings of three run ball. He accumulated a total of ten strikeouts and, at one point, retired 16-straight batters. Quintin Berry recorded a two run triple in the second inning.
He did not escape unscathed, though, as the Royals got to him for three runs (two earned). Fister was knocked out after two batters in the 8th inning, as Phil Coke was called in to relieve him. In the ninth, Joaquin Benoit would blow the save while allowing the Royals’ fourth run, but would later be credited with the win as the Tigers would walk-off in the bottom of the inning behind the bat of Alex Avila.
Royals starting pitcher Luis Mendoza, who in 7 innings of work did not factor into the decision, was efficient as two of the four runs charged against him were unearned. He recorded six strikeouts. Reliever Tim Collins was charged with the loss. Third baseman Mike Moustakas recorded three errors, two on one play, in today’s game. There were five total errors for the Royals. Billy Butler, who has been aptly titled the “Tiger Killer”, was slated as the designated hitter for the Royals. He hit the game’s only homerun, tying the score in the ninth inning.
The Tigers hope to receive help tonight from the Tampa Bay Rays as they square off versus the Chicago White Sox, in the opening game of 4-game weekend series. They are set to start a 3-game weekend series in Minnesota versus the Twins tomorrow night, at 8:10 pm. Tiger’s rookie Drew Smyly (4.24, 4-3) will square off against the Twins’ Scott Diamond (3.64, 12-8). Their final six games are on the road.
Notes: The Detroit Tigers’ previous record of seven straight consecutive strikeouts was held by John Hill, who did it versus Boston on June 15th, 1965. The feat was also repeated by Denny McClain, who did it versus Cleveland on October 1st, 1970.
The previous American League record of eight straight strikeouts was held by 4 different pitchers. Nolan Ryan, who completed it twice; Ron Davis, Roger Clemens, and Blake Stein. The Major League Baseball Record of ten straight batters retired by way of strikeout is held by National League pitcher Tom Seaver (April 4th, 1970).
Tiger’s pitcher Max Scherzer will miss his start tomorrow due to a sore deltoid muscle.
Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer left the game early with a strained right shoulder.