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Snell matches AL mark for consecutive strikeouts to start game

Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Blake Snell tied the American League record by striking out the first seven batters he faced in Sunday's game against the Seattle Mariners.

Snell, a Seattle native, struck out 12 through six innings before exiting with a 1-0 lead. He gave up no runs and two hits and didn't walk anyone. The Mariners wound up rallying for a 2-1 win off the Tampa Bay bullpen.

Two different members of the Chicago White Sox had shared the record that Snell tied -- Joe Cowley (1986) and Carlos Rodon (2016).

The major league record of eight at the outset of a contest was set by Houston's Jim Deshaies in 1986 and matched by Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets in 2014.

Eighth-place hitter Denard Span was the first Mariners player not to strike out. He grounded out to second to end a 10-pitch at-bat.

Snell followed by striking out Mike Zunino to make it eight of the first nine Mariners to be retired on strikes.

Dee Gordon was the first Seattle batter to reach against Snell, producing an infield hit to open the fourth. Ryon Healy singled in the fifth inning.

--Field Level Media