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Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: Tigers pitchers racking up the K's

Detroit hurlers tie record with three games of at least 18 strikeouts in season

MLB Notebook: Tigers pitchers racking up the K's play video for MLB Notebook: Tigers pitchers racking up the K's

When the 1974 Angels pitching staff produced three games with at least 18 strikeouts, future all-time strikeout leader Nolan Ryan was the starting pitcher for all three of those contests.

When the 1997 Mariners amassed three games with at least 18 punchouts, the man who owns the highest strikeout rate per nine innings in history -- Randy Johnson -- was the starter in all three.

When the 2001 D-backs joined the 1974 Angels and '97 M's and had three games with 18-plus K's, Johnson was the starter in all three of those affairs.

In contrast, the 2013 Tigers have had three different starters -- Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez and Rick Porcello -- in a game during which their staff notched at least 18 strikeouts. Justin Verlander, who has the most strikeouts in the Majors over the past seven seasons, awaits his turn to help Detroit make a little bit of history.

In Thursday's 14-inning affair, the Tigers' and Astros' pitching staffs each recorded 18 strikeouts. Detroit pitchers have recorded at least 10 K's in an American League-record seven straight games. The only club in the modern era with a longer streak was the 2012 Brewers, who did it in eight straight. This game was the third since 1916 to feature each team recording at least 18 K's. The first of these three came in a Padres-Giants tilt on June 19, 2001. The second came on April 17, when Tigers pitchers had 19 and Mariners hurlers had 21.

Kendrick's dominance of Marlins
Right-hander Kyle Kendrick allowed two runs in seven innings and picked up the win, as Philadelphia defeated Miami, 7-2.

Kendrick has won nine consecutive decisions against the Marlins, the second-longest winning streak for any Phillies pitcher against that franchise. From 2006-08, Jamie Moyer captured 10 straight decisions versus the Marlins.

Dating back to 1916, the 10-game winning streak by Moyer stands tied for third longest for any Phillies pitcher against any NL franchise (including the Astros). Robin Roberts had 15 straight wins against the Pirates ('51-53), Terry Mulholland won 12 straight against the Expos ('90-96), Pete Alexander won 10 straight against the Reds ('16-17), Steve Carlton won 10 straight against the Cardinals ('79-81).

Pierre's historic steal
Miami's Juan Pierre collected his 600th stolen base, making him the 18th player in history to reach the milestone.

Pierre is the seventh member of the 600-steal club to have more stolen bases than walks (he's drawn 454 in his career). The others: Lou Brock, Bert Campaneris, Willie Wilson, Vince Coleman, Arlie Latham and Otis Nixon.

Among the 10 players to have collected at least 600 steals in the expansion era, the range of stolen-base percentages go from Tim Raines' 84.7 to Pierre's 75.2.

Pierre is one of 10 players in history to have reached the following milestones through his age-35 season: 2,000 hits, 1,000 runs and 600 steals, joining Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, Billy Hamilton, Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan, Raines, Brock, Max Carey and Wilson.

Pierre's 600th steal came in his 1,907th career game. For those players who began their careers since 1893, Pierre was the ninth quickest to the milestone. Those who did it in fewer games: Henderson, Coleman, Raines, Cobb, Nixon, Wilson, Brock and Carey.

Westbrook keeps rolling
Jake Westbrook allowed a run in six innings and picked up his second win of the season and 100th of his career in the Cardinals' 6-5 win over the Brewers.

Westbrook, who owns a 1.07 ERA in 33 2/3 innings this season, has had four starts in 2013 in which he's gone at least six innings and allowed no more than one run. He is the 15th Cardinals pitcher since 1916 to have at least four such starts through the club's first 28 games. Of the 15, Westbrook is one of 14 to have exactly four, with Dizzy Dean having five (all five complete games) in 1937.

Westbrook is one of two pitchers on the 2013 Cardinals to make this list, with Lance Lynn also having four. No other Cardinals club since 1916 has had two pitchers from the same year make the list of 15.

Here and there
• The Cubs lost to the Padres, 4-2, with their only two runs coming on a Scott Hairston two-run home run off of southpaw Eric Stults. Since the start of the 2008 season, Hairston has posted a .502 slugging percentage in 673 at-bats against lefties. For all players batting right-handed against southpaws (minimum 600 at-bats) since 2008, that slugging mark is the 25th highest. Albert Pujols (.656), Ryan Braun (.606), Matt Kemp (.590) Carlos Beltran (.587) and David Wright (.581) hold the top five marks.

• Washington's Dan Haren, who entered his start against the Braves with a career strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.02, fanned four Braves and walked one and came away with his third win of the season. Haren, who has thrown 1,909 innings in his career, owns the third-best ratio for any pitcher since 1893 with a minimum of 1,900 innings. Curt Schilling (4.38 strikeouts for every one walk in 3,261 innings) and Pedro Martinez (4.15 in 2827 1/3 innings) are ahead of him.

• St. Louis scored its six runs in the third inning, with all of them coming after two outs. The rally featured five hits that came with two outs and runners in scoring position. For the year, the Cardinals own a .364 batting average in that split, tops in the Majors.

• Tigers leadoff hitter Austin Jackson had an uncommon night at the plate, striking out four times and collecting three hits. Dating back to 1916, he became only the 10th player to have such a combination. Jackson is the only Tigers player and only leadoff hitter to do it. Organizing the group around batting position, the rest of the list contains two No. 2 hitters (Mark Belanger and Vance Law), one No. 3 hitter (Devon White), three cleanup hitters (Glenn Davis, Kevin Maas and Phil Nevin), two No. 5 hitters (Jason Botts and Brandon Moss) and a No. 6 hitter (Nick Esasky).

Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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