ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Pedro Martinez had to work extra hard for his 2,500th career strikeout.
Anaheim rookie Casey Kotchman fouled off 11 straight pitches
from Martinez before the Boston ace got him to swing and miss at a
full-count delivery for the milestone Wednesday night.
Kotchman fouled off a 3-0 pitch in the third inning to start the
streak, and the sellout crowd kept cheering louder and louder with
each swing. Even after Kotchman fanned, he was given a big ovation
as he walked away from the plate.
The Angels led the Red Sox 4-2 at that point.
Martinez, making his 300th major league start, became the 26th pitcher to reach 2,500 strikeouts.
It was the second long string of fouls by a batter in three
weeks -- the Los Angeles Dodgers' Alex Cora hit 14 in a row against
the Chicago Cubs' Matt Clement on May 12. Cora ended his run of
fouls with a two-run homer in a 4-0 win.
Martinez, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, is the fifth
active pitcher to record 2,500 strikeouts. Nolan Ryan tops the
all-time list with 5,714.