Tigers pitcher Jack Flaherty matches AL record, opens with 7 straight strikeouts in loss to Cardinals

Jack Flaherty signed a one-year, $14 million deal with the Tigers this past offseason

Jack Flaherty had a dream start against his former team on Tuesday.

The Detroit Tigers pitcher matched an American League record at Comerica Park when he recorded seven straight strikeouts to open the game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

By the time Flaherty was pulled from the mound in the seventh inning, he had a career-high 14 strikeouts. That matched Dodgers pitcher Tyler Glasnow for the most thrown in a single game this season and was the most thrown by a Tigers starter in a game in nearly a decade.

Only four other AL pitchers have struck out seven batters in a row to open a game. Seattle Mariners' Luis Castillo was the most recent pitcher to pull that off in 2022. Miami Marlins pitcher Pablo Lopez holds the league record with nine straight strikeouts.

“It was nice to come out and be in sync from pitch one,” Flaherty said via The Associated Press.

Despite Flaherty’s career day, the Cardinals rallied in the ninth behind RBI hits from Alec Burleson and Pedro Pagés to pick up the 2-1 win.

Flaherty signed a one-year, $14 million deal with the Tigers this past offseason after spending most of his career with the Cardinals, who selected him in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft. He made his debut with the club in 2017 and spent more than six seasons in St. Louis before he was dealt to the Baltimore Orioles. He went 8-9 with a 4.99 ERA in 27 starts last season.

The 28-year-old has yet to pick up a win in six starts with the Tigers, but he has 50 strikeouts and five walks over 36 innings on the mound.

“He was on, and it was nasty,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said via The Associated Press. “He had his stuff.”

The loss dropped the Tigers to 16-13 on the season and marked their third loss in their past five outings. The Tigers and Cardinals, who ran it back immediately Tuesday in a doubleheader after Monday’s contest was postponed, will wrap up their three-game series on Wednesday.