MIAMI -- Whether it's at the plate or in the field, 42-year-old Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki continues to always be a factor. Thursday night's 4-3 12-inning win over the Pirates was certainly no exception.With his two-hit night -- a third-inning single and a run scored, and a fourth-inning double --
MIAMI -- Whether it's at the plate or in the field, 42-year-old Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki continues to always be a factor. Thursday night's 4-3 12-inning win over the Pirates was certainly no exception.
With his two-hit night -- a third-inning single and a run scored, and a fourth-inning double -- Ichiro is up to 2,965 career hits, and is 22 away from tying Sam Rice (2,987) for 30th place on Major League Baseball's all-time list. Ichiro is also just 35 away from the 3,000-hit milestone.
Not only did Ichiro do it with the bat against the Pirates, but with the glove as well. His diving catch with two outs and the bases loaded in the second inning saved at least two runs. Ichiro started in center field to give Marcell Ozuna a rest. The veteran came up with a second stellar play, robbing Jung Ho Kang of extra bases with a leaping catch against the center-field fence in the fourth inning.
If that weren't enough, Ichiro recorded his 501st career stolen base, swiping second in the seventh inning after reaching on an error.
"Typical Ichiro; couple of hits, making plays in the outfield, the diving play," manager Don Mattingly said. "It was a really good night for him. Obviously a lot of good things from [Ichiro], including getting on base in that last inning to start that [game-winning rally]."
Ichiro drew a one-out walk in the 12th inning, and though he did not figure directly in the winning run, the veteran put pressure on the Pirates defensively. Martin Prado forced Ichiro at second base for the second out of the 12th, but Prado was able to score the winning run on a double from Christian Yelich.
"Ichiro gave us great support defensively," Marlins said starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen, who flirted with a no-hitter, holding Pittsburgh hitless for six innings.
"He made two great plays in the field. If it weren't for him, I would have already given up a hit in the second inning. And he had two hits; he's such a great player both defensively and offensively."
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Marlins on Thursday.