Carlson duplicates a rare feat
Reliever strikes out the side with bases loaded in extras
TORONTO -- The last time a pitcher achieved the same feat as the one accomplished by Blue Jays reliever Jesse Carlson on Wednesday night, Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho had just opened in movie theaters.
Carlson entered Wednesday's 14-inning contest against Texas in the 11th with the bases full of Rangers and no outs on the books. He used 12 pitches to strike out Adam Melhuse, Marlon Byrd and David Murphy in order to retire the side, escaping the threat unscathed.
"You don't expect that," manager John Gibbons said. "You don't expect to get out of that, but if you look at the two weeks we've played this year, we've had some games where we got out of some jams."
Though that's true, none matched Carlson's particular performance. In fact, no pitcher had struck out the side after entering a game with the bases loaded and no outs in extra innings since June 19, 1960.
In that game 48 years ago, Giants pitcher Jack Sanford managed the rare feat in the 10th inning against the Phillies, who had Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts on the mound. Roberts was actually Sanford's third strikeout victim.
Through five appearances this season, the 27-year-old Carlson -- promoted from Triple-A Syracuse on April 9 -- has been a welcome addition to Toronto's relief corps. In 6 2/3 innings, the lefty has seven strikeouts and a crisp 1.35 ERA.
"I'm pretty impressed with him," Gibbons said. "That shows that if you pound that strike zone, good things can happen."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.