The MLB record for strikeouts by a pitcher in one inning is four. Several pitchers have done it. However, one pitcher once struck out five batters in an inning in a Spring Training game. Who did it and in what year?
In a 1976 spring training game against the Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros knuckleballer Joe Niekro struck out the side. All five outs in the inning were strikeouts. A large factor in accomplishing the feat was the difficulty Astros catcher Cliff Johnson had catching the knuckleball. Johnson committed five passed balls during the inning including two on third strikes that allowed both batters to reach first safely.