DETROIT -- Tigers right-hander Doug Fister struck out an American League-record nine consecutive batters in Thursday's 5-4 win against Kansas City.
Fister struck out the last Royals hitter of the fourth inning, and his streak didn't end until Salvador Perez hit a routine grounder to shortstop on a 1-2 pitch in the seventh -- bringing out an audible groan from the Detroit crowd, which had become more excited as Fister's run continued.
"I said, 'Congratulations, man. You made history.' He was like, 'What are you doing?' " Prince Fielder said. "He was locked in so it was kind of like, 'Get away from me.' I was like, 'All right, they'll tell you.' "
At that point, Fister had retired 16 straight hitters and Detroit led 4-0 -- but he was oblivious to the strikeout record.
"Honestly, I had no idea," Fister said. "(Fielder) was yelling at me to step off during the inning, and I kind of looked at him. Normally, he'll do that, to slow me down, if I'm getting too quick. ... I thought that was kind of what he was doing there. He just said, 'Hey, step off.' I look at him, and he kept looking at me, and he said, 'Aw, I'll tell you later.' "
The major league record for consecutive strikeouts is 10 by Tom Seaver in 1970.
"It's crazy, to go through a whole lineup and strike everybody out," Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur said. "And I don't think he threw more than four pitches to any of the batters."
The AL record of eight had been accomplished several times, most recently by Kansas City's Blake Stein on June 17, 2001.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.