DETROIT (AP) Jack Flaherty tied an American League record with seven straight strikeouts to open a game and struck out a career-high 14 before the St. Louis Cardinals rallied against a usually reliable bullpen with a two-run ninth inning to beat the Detroit Tigers 2-1 in a doubleheader opener Tuesday.

“It’s good to steal that one,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said.

Flaherty’s game-opening seven strikeouts matched the AL record shared by Joe Cowley of the 1986 Chicago White Sox, Carlos Rodón of the 2016 White Sox, Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell in 2018 and Seattle’s Luis Castillo two years ago.

Miami Marlins right-hander Pablo López set the major league record by striking out the first nine batters of a game in 2021.

“It was nice to come out and be in sync from pitch one,” Flaherty said.

Pitching against his first big league team, Flaherty kept the Cardinals off balance and flailing at four-seam fastballs and knuckle-curveballs.

“He was on, and it was nasty,” Marmol said. “He had his stuff.”

The 28-year-old matched the most strikeouts in the majors this season and the most for the Tigers since Max Scherzer had 14 against Pittsburgh in an eight-inning outing on Aug. 14, 2014.

“You could kind of feel it early on in the game," Detroit coach Carson Kelly said. “Actually before the game, he was on a mission.”

Riley Green hit a fourth-inning home run off Kyle Gibson.

Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Alec Burleson had one-out singles in the ninth, with Burleson's driving in the tying run off Shelby Miller (3-3). Pedro Pages followed with a go-ahead sacrifice fly.

Matthew Liberatore (1-1) struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth, and Ryan Helsley fanned two in a perfect ninth for his 10th save in as many chances.

Gibson, though, made the comeback possible by holding Detroit to one run on four hits over seven innings.

“It was good duel,” Marmol said. “Those two guys went at it, and both of them looked really, really good.”



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