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Delabar strikes out side on just nine pitches

Delabar strikes out side on just nine pitches

Delabar strikes out side on just nine pitches

OAKLAND -- Right-hander Steve Delabar made history Tuesday night by becoming the first Blue Jays pitcher to strike out the side on just nine pitches.

Delabar came on in relief of left-hander Mark Buehrle during the eighth inning of Toronto's 5-0 victory over Oakland and retired his three batters with very little resistance.

A's infielder Adam Rosales fouled off the first pitch of the inning but then swung through the next two offerings from Delabar. Coco Crisp and Chris Young followed in similar fashion, with neither making contact against the mid-90s velocity.

"It's pretty cool to do. I came in and said I don't think I've ever done that in my life and I just did that in a big league game," Delabar said. "It's crazy. I'm just looking to get in there and get guys out. To do it in nine pitches and strike them all out, that's crazy."

Delabar has only been in the Major Leagues for the past two seasons but he already has a pair of quirky records to call his own. Last season, he became the first pitcher in the history of the big leagues to strike out four batters in an extra inning.

Now he owns another piece of Toronto history to go along with a spot on the American League All-Star team earlier this season. His string of success continues, as he has maintained his spot as one of the most reliable setup men in the big leagues.

Delabar entered play on Wednesday afternoon with an impressive 2.44 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 48 innings of work this year. Whenever manager John Gibbons opts to call his name, he generally knows what to expect.

"One thing when you bring him into a game, you have a chance to get a strikeout and that's big," Gibbons said. "Sometimes contact is your enemy, and when you need a strikeout he's one of those guys who can do that.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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