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Seager lines first HR, adds 1,000th career hit

Third baseman becomes ninth Mariner to reach milestone
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

MINNEAPOLIS -- For Kyle Seager, the 1,000th hit of his career will be one to remember: a line-drive single to right field in the eighth inning of Saturday's 11-4 victory over the Twins. But the one that did damage was No. 999, a two-run "frozen rope" that clanked off the right-field foul pole and jump-started Seattle's win on a frigid afternoon at Target Field.

They all add up for the 30-year-old third baseman, who became just the ninth Mariner to reach 1,000 hits during their time in Seattle.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- For Kyle Seager, the 1,000th hit of his career will be one to remember: a line-drive single to right field in the eighth inning of Saturday's 11-4 victory over the Twins. But the one that did damage was No. 999, a two-run "frozen rope" that clanked off the right-field foul pole and jump-started Seattle's win on a frigid afternoon at Target Field.

They all add up for the 30-year-old third baseman, who became just the ninth Mariner to reach 1,000 hits during their time in Seattle.

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"That's pretty special," Seager said. "I knew at the end of last year that I'd gotten close. I didn't realize that was No. 1,000, so that's something I'm pretty proud of."

Video: SEA@MIN: Seager cranks a two-run homer to right

First on the Mariners' all-time hit list is teammate Ichiro Suzuki, who had two more Saturday to reach 2,538 during his dozen seasons in Seattle.

"At the rate I'm going, if I play until about 73, I think I'll catch him," Seager said. "So I'm on a good pace."

Seager joins a pretty exclusive group, with Edgar Martinez (2,247), Ken Griffey Jr. (1,843), Jay Buhner (1,255), Alvin Davis (1,163), Raul Ibanez (1,077), Dan Wilson (1,071) and Harold Reynolds (1,063) also in the Mariners' 1,000-hit club.

"It's a great milestone and certainly he's been a heckuva Mariner," manager Scott Servais said. "He's off to a little bit of a slow start. It's still early yet, but this was a nice ballgame for him today and I know he's felt better the last couple days swinging, so hopefully it carries forward the rest of this road trip."

Tweet from @Mariners: There it is! Congratulations to Kyle Seager on reaching 1,000 career hits! #TrueToTheBlue pic.twitter.com/RP9mqcuoH5

Playing in the coldest recorded game in either Twins or Mariners history with a 27-degree reading at first pitch, Seager warmed up with his line drive off the right-field foul pole to give Seattle a 3-0 lead in the fourth. The three runs were the first scored against Twins starter Jose Berrios in 13 innings, after he shut out the Orioles in a three-hit season debut.

Seager's first home run of the season snapped him out of a chilly 3-for-22 start to the year. He turned around a 93-mph fastball and lined a projected 365-foot shot that had the highest exit velocity -- 108.9 mph -- of any of the 84 homers he's hit since Statcast™ began in 2015.

"I hooked it enough and thankfully it stayed fair for me," Seager said. "That was good. You've got two outs and Robbie [Cano] on first, you're trying to drive the ball a little bit. Fortunately for me, it stayed fair."

Seager now has 154 home runs in his career, two behind Ibanez for sixth place on Seattle's all-time list.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Kyle Seager