Marlins’ López sets MLB mark with 9 strikeouts to open game

Pablo Lopez

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Pablo Lopez throws during the third inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Sunday, July 11, 2021, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI (AP) — Miami Marlins right-hander Pablo López set a major league recordby striking out the first nine batters to start Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Braves.

López struck out Ehire Adrianza, Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies each swinging in the first inning. He then fanned Austin Riley, Orlando Arcia and Dansby Swanson also all swinging in the second inning. In the third, Guillermo Heredia looked at strike three, Kevan Smith went down swinging and Ian Anderson was called out on strikes.

The 25-year-old righty broke the mark of eight straight strikeouts to begin a game set by Jim Deshaies in 1986 and matched by Jacob deGrom in 2014 and German Marquez in 2018.

The second time around the batting order was not as kind to López.

After getting Adrianza on a grounder to begin the fourth, Freeman broke up López’s sensational start with a double and Albies and Arcia added RBI singles.

López began the day with 102 strikeouts over 95 innings in 18 starts this season.

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