Ray becomes second-fastest lefty to reach 800 strikeouts in MLB history

May 13, 2019, 8:55 PM | Updated: 11:13 pm

That was fast.

Arizona Diamondbacks left-handed pitcher Robbie Ray reached a milestone Monday night, recording his 800th strikeout against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

With his strikeout of Nick Kingham in the fourth inning, Ray became the second-fastest southpaw to 800 strikeouts in terms of games (125), overtaking Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (128).

Ray also became the third-fastest pitcher to reach the feat in terms of innings pitched (664.0).

“Anytime you hit those milestones, those big numbers, it means you’re doing a lot right,” manager Torey Lovullo said after the game. “He’s done that a long time, that’s what it tells me, and he’s done it at a very high level for a long time and I’ve gotten the chance to sit in the dugout for several, at least 300 [strikeouts], I don’t know, but he’s going to go ahead and get a lot more. Huge congrats to him for that milestone.”

Only Frank Tanana did it in fewer games, only needing 120. Aroldis Chapman and Billy Wagner are the only pitchers ahead of Ray in innings pitched with 480.2 and 597.2, respectively.

“It’s a big accomplishment, but just glad I was able to go out there and get some quality innings and get the win tonight,” Ray said after the game. “Just to be mentioned in the same sentence as those guys is humbling.”

Entering play Monday, Ray had gone 2-1 with a 3.30 ERA in eight starts (43.2 IP) this season.

He added another win to his season total Monday night as the D-backs beat the Pirates 9-3.

Ray allowed just six hits and an earned run in five innings (94 pitches) of work. He ended the night with six strikeouts and and just two walks.

“We gave up two runs in the first and after that things go tightened up and Robbie did a great job of allowing us to play catch up,”Lovullo said following the win. “And then preserving the lead … I thought Robbie did an outstanding job.”

The pitcher received some added help from the offense as the unit combined for 13 hits and eight RBI. It’s the first time in the last eight outings the team put up at least five runs.

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