Tigers' David Price 1st in Majors to Reach 200 Strikeouts in 2014

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Tigers' David Price 1st in Majors to Reach 200 Strikeouts in 2014
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Detroit Tigers pitcher David Price is the first hurler to reach the 200-strikeout mark this season, having hit the milestone with his first punchout in a six-K performance during Sunday's 6-5 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Price hardly turned in his best outing in a game that would ultimately last 19 innings, as he surrendered three runs over six frames in his second appearance since being traded by the Tampa Bay Rays.

While the six strikeouts would represent a nice total for nearly any other pitcher, the big lefty has only failed to reach that mark in two of his 25 outings this season. He fanned 10 batters in his Tigers debut last week, marking his 10th double-digit strikeout game of the season.

Though Price was long positioned to win the race to 200 punchouts, the competition this season was unusually stiff. Heading into Tuesday's slate of games, Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez sits at 194 strikeouts after a strong outing Monday against the Blue Jays, followed by Corey Kluber (187), Stephen Strasburg (186), Max Scherzer (182), Yu Darvish and Johnny Cueto (181).

Darvish, who leads all qualified starters with a 11.35 K/9, has been held back by the fact that he's only made 22 appearances. Notably absent from the top of the list is all-world Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who ranks second with a 10.76 K/9 but has only started 19 games because of an April injury.

Price's 9.96 K/9 is good for seventh in the majors, trailing Strasburg's 10.71, Jake Odorizzi's 10.20, Chris Sale's 10.18 and Scherzer's 10.17, in addition to the league-leading marks posted by Kershaw and Darvish.

Price, who previously reached the 200-strikeout mark in 2011 (218) and 2012 (205), has already matched the second-highest total of his career and will soon enough set a personal best.

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