KANSAS CITY -- The 14 runs that Royals pitcher Vin Mazzaro gave up in just 2 1/3 innings kept the figure filberts diving into the dusty archives on Monday night.
"It's tough, it was a tough game," Mazzaro said. "Some of the plays weren't going my way, but it's a funny game. You've just got to keep battling. ..."
Some of the statistics that he was associated with weren't too funny, of course.
According to Baseball-Reference.com, this was the most earned runs given up by a Major League relief pitcher since April 16, 1942, when Les (Buster) McCrabb of the Philadelphia A's was banged for 14 in four innings in a 19-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox.
Since 1919, there were three other relievers who gave up 14 or more: Brooklyn's Carl Doyle on June 8, 1940, in a 23-2 loss to Cincinnati; the Philadelphia Phillies' Dutch Schesler on July 11, 1931, in a 23-5 loss to the New York Giants; and Brooklyn's Nelson Greene on June 20, 1925, in a 21-5 loss to Pittsburgh. Greene reached the pinnacle with 15 earned runs.
None of them did it in as short an outing as Mazzaro. In fact, Schesler's stint ran for eight innings, while Greene went 6 2/3 and Doyle for four.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mazzaro is the first pitcher since 1900 to give up 14 or more runs in fewer than three innings.
According to SABR, the last pitcher to allow 14-plus runs in fewer than three innings was Ed Doheny of the New York Giants on June 29, 1899. Doheny was rocked for 17 runs in 2 2/3 innings.
Mazzaro also established a Royals record for most runs given up by a pitcher in one game. The previous mark was 11, by Brian Bannister on June 12, 2010, at Cincinnati; Luke Hudson on Aug. 13, 2006, at Cleveland; and Zack Greinke on June 10, 2005, at Arizona.
Mazzaro, who had a rocky four-inning start last Wednesday in New York -- he gave up just two runs but threw 94 pitches -- left the Royals with a 22.74 ERA. He gave up 16 runs, 17 hits and seven walks in 6 1/3 innings. Mazzaro was brought up from Omaha on Wednesday to replace Bruce Chen, who went on the disabled list with a lat strain.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.