Seattle's 'King Felix' reaches 2,500 career MLB strikeouts

New York (AFP) –


Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez became the sixth-youngest pitcher in Major League Baseball history to reach 2,500 career strikeouts on Saturday at Boston's Fenway Park.

The 33-year-old Venezuelan-born hurler, who became a US citizen last September, was the 36th major league pitcher to reach the milestone.

"King Felix" used a 92-mph sinker ball to get Boston's Michael Chavis called out on strikes in the second inning, then followed by getting next-batter Jackie Bradley to strike out swinging.

But Hernandez was removed after 2 1/3 innings after surrendering seven runs on six hits to the reigning World Series champion Red Sox.

The only pitchers younger than Hernandez to reach 2,500 career strikeouts are Hall of Fame hurlers Nolan Ryan, Walter Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Tom Seaver and Bert Blyleven.

Only three other active major league pitchers have 2,500 career strikeouts -- New York Yankees star C.C. Sabathia, Washington's Max Scherzer and Houston's Justin Verlander.

Hernandez made his first strikeout in his major league debut in August 2005.