Baseball - Wed, Apr. 28, 2010
Miami, Fla. - Former Saint Xavier University standout relief pitcher Luke Gregerson (Park Ridge, Ill./Morton) made San Diego Padres history Tuesday night while working a scoreless inning in a 4-1 victory over the Florida Marlins in Miami, Fla. When Gregerson struck out Dan Uggla and John Baker to open the seventh inning, it stretched his streak to 26 consecutive hitters retired dating back to April 14. The run ended when Gaby Sanchez dropped a two-out single down the right field foul line before Gregerson struck out Brett Carroll to end the inning. The 26-batter streak is a record for Padres relievers, topping the mark of 24 straight established by Craig Lefferts from April 19-29, 1984.
Twelve of the Gregerson's 26 straight victims were retired via strikeouts. His run also topped the longest run in the Majors since the start of the 2009 season. Colorado Rockies' Huston Street retired 25 straight hitters late last season. Since giving up three runs in his season debut in Arizona, Gregerson has allowed just one unearned run on two hits and a walk over 11 innings. Opposing hitters are batting .128 (5-for-39) against him. Over his first two big-league seasons, Gregerson has developed another notable stat. His earned run average (ERA) at Petco Park, San Diego's stadium, is 0.58 (three runs in 46 1/3 innings). His road ERA is 6.23 (27 runs in 39 innings), although he has worked 5 1/3 straight scoreless innings on the road to open this season.
Gregerson ranked fourth in the voting for the 2009 Major League Baseball (MLB) "Set-up Man of the Year" award last December. In his debut season last year, he finished tied for fifth in the MLB in holds and was the only rookie listed among the top 10 in that category. Gregerson played at Saint Xavier University from 2003-06 before being drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006. The Padres acquired him from St. Louis prior to the 2009 campaign in a trade involving shortstop Khalil Greene. On the mound for SXU, Gregerson had a stellar senior season as the team's closer compiling nine saves and a 3-1 win-loss record with an impressive 0.68 ERA.