Alexander struck out nine consecutive batters during his 3 2/3 innings appearance. He finished his outing with 10 strikeouts, though the Tigers would lose the game 4-3.
“I don't normally try to strike guys out, but after about the fifth one, I was trying to strike guys out,” Alexander said after the game.
The reliever’s streak ended at the top of the sixth. He was one strikeout short of Tom Seaver’s MLB mark when he hit Mike Moustakas with the count at 1-2.
“I was trying to go up and in to brush him back so I could come back with my slider,” Alexander said. “It obviously got away from me.”
Detroit would drop both games of the doubleheader Sunday. It was the first time MLB purposely only played seven innings for a doubleheader as they hope some teams recover some games that were lost when others had positive coronavirus tests in their clubhouse.
In the second game, Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer pitched a complete-game shutout.
Detroit moved to 5-5 on the season after their sweep. The Reds improved to 4-5.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.