ATLANTA: Spencer Strider struggled to understand why his Braves teammates started talking to him about John Smoltz when he completed the eighth inning against Colorado.
The rookie had no idea he broke an Atlanta record held by the Hall of Famer.
Strider struck out 16 batters — the most by any Braves pitcher since the team moved to Atlanta in 1966 — while allowing two hits in eight innings to lead the Braves to a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night.
Strider fanned his last two batters with two runners on base in the eighth — with his fastball still hitting 98 mph — to complete his masterful 106-pitch outing.
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"I lost track after five (innings)," said Strider of his strikeout count. Teammate Kyle Wright filled in for the rookie about the record.
"I came out of the game and Kyle was telling me something about John Smoltz or whatever. It didn't make any sense," Strider said.
Finally, Strider was made to understand.
"It's pretty wild, the guys who've thrown in this organization, it's a long, incredible list," Strider said. "I'm just grateful to be here and having success."
Austin Riley and rookie Michael Harris II hit solo home runs for Atlanta.
Strider threw only 42 pitches in his first four innings, setting a pace that allowed him to log his longest career start. He did not walk a batter.
Orioles 3, Guardians 0
In Cleveland, rookie Kyle Bradish held Cleveland to two harmless singles in seven innings and Cedric Mullins homered on Shane Bieber's first pitch, leading Baltimore past Cleveland.
Bradish (3-5) had his second straight dominant performance. He hasn't allowed a run in 15 straight innings after going more than three months without a win.
Cionel Pérez worked a perfect eighth and rookie Félix Bautista finished off the two-hitter for his 11th save.
The Orioles took two of three in this series between playoff hopefuls. Cleveland's lead in the AL Central shrunk to one game over idle Minnesota.
Bieber (8-8) struck out 11 in seven solid innings but allowed homers to Mullins, Anthony Santander and Ryan Mountcastle.
Red Sox 9, Rangers 8
In Boston, Rob Refsnyder hit a game-ending single in a four-run ninth inning to complete Boston's rally past Texas.
The Red Sox trailed 8-3 in the eighth and 8-5 entering the ninth. Boston promptly loaded the bases with none out against Jonathan Hernández (1-1). Rafael Devers hit a two-run double and Kiké Hernández followed with an RBI single to tie the game before Refsnyder completed the comeback with a drive to left.
Jeurys Familia (2-1) worked a scoreless ninth for a Boston staff that was constantly in trouble. The Rangers stranded 12 runners as they dropped their fifth straight.