MIAMI -- From this point forward, each Ichiro Suzuki hit moves him closer to more MLB milestones. On Wednesday, in the Marlins' 1-0 loss to the Giants at Marlins Park, the 42-year-old collected two more hits, giving him 3,002 in his 16-year big league career.With his single off right-hander Jeff
MIAMI -- From this point forward, each Ichiro Suzuki hit moves him closer to more MLB milestones. On Wednesday, in the Marlins' 1-0 loss to the Giants at Marlins Park, the 42-year-old collected two more hits, giving him 3,002 in his 16-year big league career.
With his single off right-hander Jeff Samardzija in the second inning, Ichiro notched his 3,001st career hit, passing Roberto Clemente for 29th place all time. In the ninth inning, Ichiro blistered a two-out double to center off closer Santiago Casilla for hit No. 3,002.
Starting in right field in place of Giancarlo Stanton, Ichiro grounded out to second in the second inning, but in his next at-bat, he had a vintage Ichiro hit, not doing too much and placing the hit to left field.
Throughout Ichiro's quest for 3,000 hits, manager Don Mattingly has stressed he wasn't forcing history. The plan has been to use Ichiro in situations that best help the club win.
Because the Marlins are off on Thursday, and with Stanton dealing with a sore right hip flexor, Ichiro got the afternoon start on Wednesday. Stanton pinch-hit in the game, and said he will be ready for Friday.
In the ninth inning, Ichiro gave Miami life with two outs when he doubled off Casilla. Representing the tying run, the game ended when J.T. Realmuto struck out.
"It's what we've done all year," said Marlins right-hander David Phelps, who was a teammate of Ichiro's a few seasons ago with the Yankees. "We're not an easy team to face because from the first inning to the ninth or even the 14th inning, we're putting together at-bats and we make you work."
Now that Ichiro has passed Clemente (3,000), next on the all-time list are Al Kaline (3,007) and Wade Boggs (3,010).
Ichiro joined the 3,000-hit club Sunday with a triple in the seventh inning against the Rockies at Coors Field.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.