The Boston Red Sox set a new MLB record for strikeouts through nine innings of a game.

On Tuesday night, when they faced the Colorado Rockies, Boston struck out 21 batters.

Chris Sale led the way with 17 of the 21 punchouts over the seven innings he pitched in the game. The 17 Ks were also the most by a Red Sox starter in a single game since Pedro Martinez did so 19-years ago.

Sale ended the night three strikeouts away from tying Roger Clemens for the club record which he did twice, once in 1986 versus the Mariners and 1996 against the Tigers.

Boston’s ace turned the game over the bullpen after 108 pitches. Brandon Workman picked up a pair of strikeouts in the eighth and Matt Barnes saw two of the batters he faced in the ninth punched out before the game went into extra innings.

During the post-game media scrum, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said that Sale asked him if he was going to let him go for the record. According to the skipper it was more sarcastic but was probably a serious question.

The 30-year old became the first pitcher in Major League Baseball history to record 17 punchouts in seven innings or fewer. He is also the very first member of the Red Sox to pitch back to back starts with 10 or more strikeouts without allowing a walk since Cy Young in 1905.

After struggling early in the season, going 1-5 with a 4.50 ERA, Sale has snapped out of it and become the pitcher that batters feared once again. While he left Tuesday’s game up 3-2, he would not get the win after the Rockies took the lead in the eighth, removing him as the pitcher of record.

Boston ended the game with 24 strikeouts through 11 innings, falling short of the all-time record for most in any game including extra inning games by two. Even though they got a great pitching performance out of their starter, the Red Sox would fall 5-4 to Colorado.