June 19, 2012 in Sports

Ichiro collect 2,500th hit in M’s 10-inning win

Seattle Times
 
Associated Press photo

Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki collected his 2,500th major league hit on Tuesday.
(Full-size photo)

PHOENIX – Ichiro Suzuki notching three hits his first three times up might have been a sign of the slugfest ahead for the Mariners.

Unfortunately for the Mariners, the sight of Hisashi Iwakuma on the mound and getting lit up by the fifth inning Tuesday night was an even better indicator that the Arizona Diamondbacks planned to match Seattle’s offensive barrage. But the Mariners never gave up and by the time the dust cleared, they had pulled out a 12-9 victory in 10 innings with Ichiro having compiled a four-hit night.

Casper Wells came through with a two-run, pinch-hit single in the 10th off reliever Brad Ziegler to put the Mariners ahead for good. Ichiro added another run with his second double of the game to drive home Wells.

Tom Wilhelmsen closed it out, delivering a victory to Charlie Furbush, who worked two perfect innings of relief and fanned four.

A crowd of 21,568 at Chase Field saw Ichiro notch career hit No. 2,500 on a flare that dropped into center field for a single on the third pitch of the game. But they likely had no indication in the early going just how wild and crazy things were about to get.

By the time it was done, each side had three homers apiece – with Justin Smoak, Kyle Seager and Brendan Ryan going deep for Seattle and Gerardo Parra, Aaron Hill and Paul Goldschmidt doing the same for the Diamondbacks – while amassing 29 combined hits.

The Mariners had an early 2-0 lead after a Smoak home run in the second inning and then a Seager single that scored Ichiro in the third. But then the roof began to cave in on starting pitchers Erasmo Ramirez of the Mariners and mound opponent Daniel Hudson.

First, the Diamondbacks scored three in the bottom of the third to take the lead, then made it 5-2 in the fourth on solo home runs by Parra and Hill. But the Mariners mounted a furious comeback in the fifth, scoring six times on a pair of three-run homers by Seager and Ryan off Hudson and reliever Craig Breslow, respectively.

But the M’s and Iwakuma couldn’t hold the 8-5 advantage beyond the next half-inning. Iwakuma came on to replace Ramirez in the bottom of the fifth and yielded a one-out, solo homer to Goldschmidt. Montero and Parra then added singles and then, with two out, Lyle Overbay and Willie Bloomquist hit run-scoring singles to tie it at 8.

It could have been worse for the Mariners as an intentional walk to Hill later loaded the bases. But Shawn Kelley came on and got the dangerous Justin Upton to swing and miss at a full-count slider down and away to end the threat.

Arizona re-took the lead in the sixth as Miguel Montero singled off Mariners southpaw Lucas Luetge. It was the first earned run given up all season by the Rule 5 draft pick, who had tossed a club-record 25 scoreless outings to begin his career.

But with two on and none out, Luetge did a magnificent job of limiting further damage with a double-play grounder and then a called strikeout on Parra.

Ryan drew a one-out walk in the eighth and then a single to right field by pinch-hitter John Jaso put runners at the corners. Ichiro stepped up and delivered a long fly ball to right for a sacrifice fly that tied it up.

Smoak opened the 10th with a walk against J.J. Putz, then Dustin Ackley singled. Ziegler entered from there and Ryan bunted both runners into scoring position. Wells came up next and put the Mariners ahead to stay.


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