Fister at historic pace with hit batters

Fister at historic pace with hit batters

DETROIT -- Doug Fister took his first loss of the year on Thursday, but it wasn't his only first. His latest hit batter put him into record territory.

With his 0-2 pitch nailing Denard Span in the second inning, Fister became the first Major League pitcher since at least 1921 to hit 10 batters by May 15. He also continued a pace that could have him threatening the modern Major League record by the end of the summer.

No Major League hurler had even hit double digits by the end of May since former Rays ace Victor Zambrano did it in 2004. However, his total stood at eight in mid-May.

No big league pitcher has hit 20 in a season since 2004, when former Cub Carlos Zambrano and Boston's Bronson Arroyo both did it to lead their respective leagues. Last season, the league-leading total was 14, reached by Ian Kennedy in the National League and Gavin Floyd in the American League.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.