Jimenez sets Classic strikeout record

Jimenez sets Classic strikeout record

SAN JUAN, P.R. -- Ubaldo Jimenez set a new record for strikeouts by a starter during Game 5 of Pool D play of the World Baseball Classic between the Dominican Republic and the Netherlands.

With Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan as the stage, Jimenez fanned 10 batters during his four-inning performance, breaking the mark set in the first edition of the tournament by the Japanese hurler Koji Uehara, who struck out eight batters on March 6, 2006, in San Diego during the semifinals game between Japan and Korea. Jimenez's first seven outs came through strikeouts.

In the first inning, the Rockies starter -- representing the Dominican Republic in the Classic -- fanned the first two batters, Eugene Kingsale and Sharlon Schoop. After Randall Simon singled to center, Yurendell de Caster, also whiffed for the third out.

Bryan Engelhardt, Sharnol Adriana and Dirk Van Klooster struck out consecutively in the second frame. Kenley Jansen did the same to open the third. In the fourth, Schoop, Simon and de Caster fell victims to the right hander as he surpassed the previous record by two strikeouts. In his four innings of work, Jimenez faced 14 batters, allowed two hits and no walks.

Due to the 70-pitch limit during the first round of the Classic, Jimenez came out of the game after 65 pitches. With the game tied at zero, Pedro Martinez came on in relief for the bottom of the fifth.

Despite Jimenez's efforts, the Dominican team was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic, losing, 2-1, in 11 innings to the Netherlands.

Mario Emilio Guerrero is a contributor to LasMayores.com, MLB.com's Spanish Web site. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.