SEATTLE — When Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth inning for his 21st save on Monday against Seattle, he also reached 100 career strikeouts faster than any Braves pitcher in history.
The rookie closer got his 100th strikeout with 59-1/3 career innings of regular-season work (he finished the night with 101 strikeouts in 59-2/3 innings).
John Rocker was the previous fastest Brave to 100 strikeouts, doing it in 70 innings during the 1998-1999 seasons.
It was the fourth time this season that Kimbrel has faced at least three batters in a game and struck them all out, the most by any major league pitcher this season.
Kimbrel extended his own NL record for saves by a rookie before the All-Star break, and was five behind Jonathan Papelbon’s major league first-half rookie record of 26 in 2006.
Beachy also in the books
Brandon Beachy’s nine strikeouts in six innings Monday gave him 20 strikeouts over his past two starts.
The Elias Sports Bureau said he was first Braves rookie pitcher of the modern era (post-1900) to record as many as 20 strikeouts while winning consecutive starts.
Beachy had 11 strikeouts in six innings last week against Toronto in his first start back from the disabled list. He was out five weeks after straining the oblique muscle in his left side.