Fan-fest breaks out at Big A with record-tying night
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HEIM -- If you live near Angel Stadium and felt a nice little breeze come through your window on Tuesday night, thank the Mariners.
They whiffed a whole lot.
In the Angels' 5-4 victory, Zack Greinke recorded 13 strikeouts in a five-inning outing and the pitching staff collectively totaled 20. Twenty strikeouts tie for the most ever in a nine-inning game, while Greinke's performance makes him the first pitcher in the live-ball era (since 1920) to record 13 punchouts in an outing that lasted no more than five innings.
Every member of the Mariners' starting lineup struck out at least once and leadoff hitter Dustin Ackley went home with the golden sombrero (four strikeouts).
"It wasn't like there was anything crazy going on," the Mariners' second baseman said. "I was just missing pitches to hit and that was kind of the trend for me."
"Well, we had to work for every out," Angels manager Mike Scioscia added. "Zack threw a lot of pitches  to get through his [outing], and part of it is he was striking out a lot of guys."
Especially in the top of the fourth, when Greinke became the fourth different pitcher in Angels history to record four strikeouts in one inning (Chuck Finley did it twice). With two outs, Trayvon Robinson struck out on a pitch in the dirt that ricocheted off catcher Chris Iannetta and rolled farther back after making contact with Robinson's discarded bat, allowing the speedy outfielder to reach base.
No matter. Greinke then struck out Brendan Ryan swinging to end the inning, en route to notching a new season high in strikeouts while giving up one run, seven hits and two walks.
But Greinke isn't really a big fan of the strikeout.
"I used to try to strike everybody out," he said. "The No. 1 problem with it is it just takes too much energy sometimes and wears you down for later in the game, whereas if you're just attacking and are not trying to strike everybody out, usually you're fresh for later in the game."
In relief of Greinke, Garrett Richards struck out the side in the sixth. Then Kevin Jepsen recorded a couple of strikeouts to end the eighth inning. Then Ernesto Frieri recorded two more to end the ninth, striking out a swinging John Jaso to give the Angels a fourth straight win and a little history.
The Angels are the first team to record 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning game using multiple pitchers. The other teams that have done it are the Red Sox (on April 29, 1986, and Sept. 18, 1996, both by Roger Clemens) and Cubs (May 6, 1998, by Kerry Wood). The previous franchise record was 19.
"I don't really pay attention to how many strikeouts we have in the game, but I heard about it," Frieri said. "I'm glad that I was there, man. I got the strikeouts and I'm going to be in the [record] book for a long time, I hope."