ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Diamondbacks minor leaguer accomplishes rare 5-strikeout inning

Apr 24, 2024, 10:54 AM

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A detail of a Arizona Diamondbacks logo on a jersey against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on September 08, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks pitching prospect Jhosmer Alvarez was largely untouchable on Tuesday, evidently for both opposing hitters and his own catcher.

Alvarez struck out five hitters in a single inning for Single-A Visalia against the Inland Empire 66ers, something accomplished only five times in recorded Minor League Baseball history.

This has never been done at the major league level, where the record is four punchouts in an inning.

Alvarez entered in the seventh inning with a 2-1 lead and started his outing with a strikeout looking. After a single up the middle, he struck out Dario Laverde on a pitch in the dirt that kicked off catcher Kenny Castillo’s knee and relented the base runner. A big strikeout swinging kept the runners put, but his next K bounced off Castillo’s glove and to the backstop, scoring the game-tying run.

The right-hander followed with a three-pitch strikeout to Joe Redfield to keep the tie intact.

For good measure, Alvarez led off the eighth inning by striking out Anthony Scull on a ball that got away from Castillo and led to another base runner.

And thus his day ended with six strikeouts, only three of which counted for outs in one of the more peculiar outings in recent minor league history.

The only other minor league pitchers to strike out five batters in a single frame (recorded) were Malcolm Van Buren in 2019, Andrew Kittredge in 2014, Tyler Herb in 2014 and Mark Montgomery in 2011.

The Rawhide won the game on a walk-off wild pitch, because of course they did.

Alvarez is a 22-year-old from Venezuela who signed with Arizona in 2017. He has a 2.25 ERA this year in eight innings with 13 strikeouts.

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