Ponce de Leon finds fountain of K's

May 22nd, 2022

There’s no better feeling than starting a game off strong. Just ask Daniel Ponce de Leon, who had one of the hottest starts to a game baseball has ever seen Saturday.

The 30-year-old righty who signed with the Mariners last month started his outing for Triple-A Tacoma in the best way possible, striking out the first nine batters he faced. The feat has only been accomplished once in MLB history, by Marlins pitcher Pablo López on July 11, 2021.

The strong start set the tone for his outing, as he tossed five shutout innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out a total of 12 batters, the most by a Rainiers pitcher since 2014.

His nine K's to start the outing were also just one shy of the MLB record for most consecutive strikeouts of 10, which has been done by Corbin Burnes, Aaron Nola and Hall of Famer Tom Seaver.

Ponce de Leon, who spent parts of four seasons with the Cardinals from 2018 to 2021, has spent all of 2022 so far with the Rainiers, striking out 41 in 38 innings pitched. He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in six of his eight starts this season.