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Notebook: Marlins veteran Ichiro Suzuki closing in on 3,000 hits

Ichiro Suzuki had a hot weekend as the fourth outfielder for the Miami Marlins and the former Mariner is closing in on 3,000 hits. (Gaston De Cardenas / Associated Press)
Ichiro Suzuki had a hot weekend as the fourth outfielder for the Miami Marlins and the former Mariner is closing in on 3,000 hits. (Gaston De Cardenas / Associated Press)
From wire reports

Ichiro Suzuki continued his assault on the record books when, playing in place of injured outfielder Christian Yelich, he recorded four hits on Saturday. He added two more on Sunday to give him 2,956.

“That’s why I’m here,” Ichiro said Sunday. “I’m always trying to be the best fourth outfielder I can, and I got that opportunity Saturday.”

At 42 years and 212 days, Ichiro on Saturday became only the seventh player his age or older to register four or more hits in a game. The others: Pete Rose, Sam Rice, Carl Yastrzemski, Rickey Henderson, Honus Wagner and Carlton Fisk.

Ichiro was back in the leadoff spot on Sunday when Yelich missed his second game in a row with back spasms. At least he had advance notice in order to prepare, which he prefers. On Saturday, he didn’t find out he would be starting until the last moment.

“He always loves having early notice,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “I’m thinking now, after that late notice, maybe the way to go with him is to surprise him on game day.”

Replied Ichiro, with a laugh: “There are some jokes that are funny, and sometimes the people that tell the jokes, they have to be funny, and Mattingly is not one of those guys. But he’s trying to be funny.”

As for Yelich, who has dealt with back injury issues in the past, he said Sunday he felt “so-so” and that he’s frustrated more than anything else.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Yelich said. “It’s day to day.”

Odor to have appeal hearing for 8-game suspension Tuesday

Texas second baseman Rougned Odor’s hearing to appeal an eight-game suspension for punching Toronto’s Joey Bautista will be on Tuesday.

The appeal will be heard by MLB executive vice president John McHale. If it is upheld, Odor would have to begin serving the suspension immediately.

The league disciplined 14 players and staff for their actions in the brawl in Arlington, Texas, on May 15.

Odor punched Bautista in the jaw in the top of the eighth inning of that game after Bautista made a hard takeout slide at second base on Odor, which started the bench-clearing brawl.

Darvish seems ready for return to Rangers after strong rehab

Yu Darvish threw six scoreless innings in what is likely to be his last rehab start before returning to the Rangers rotation for the first time since late in the 2014 season.

Darvish is coming back from Tommy John surgery and threw 56 of 87 pitches for strikes while pitching for Double-A Frisco. He allowed three hits and walked one against San Antonio, an affiliate of the San Diego Padres.

The right-hander from Japan last pitched in a major league game Aug. 9, 2014, before dealing with right elbow inflammation. He had more issues the following spring and had surgery on March 17, 2015.

Darvish threw 20 innings over five rehab starts this month split between Triple-A Round Rock and Frisco. He struck out 21 and walked six while allowing only two earned runs.

Gray put on DL by A’s because of strained muscle

Athletics ace Sonny Gray has been put on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained trapezius muscle near his right shoulder blade.

Oakland made the move two days after Gray threw three wild pitches and walked four while retiring just 10 batters in an 8-3 loss to the Yankees. Gray is 3-5 in nine starts with a 6.19 ERA, third-highest in the AL among qualifying pitchers.

Gray said he received a shot that was half cortisone and half anti-inflammatory in his shoulder not long after exiting the game but the condition did not get any better.

The 2015 All-Star has had command problems for much of the season. He has a 10.38 ERA over his past five starts and has lost four straight decisions, matching his career-high.

Right-handed reliever Daniel Coulombe was recalled from Triple-A Nashville.

Rockies-Pirates postponed after 1 inning; makeup on Monday

Colorado’s game at Pittsburgh was postponed because of rain after one inning. The game will be made up Monday at 12:35 p.m.

The Rockies led 1-0 on Nolan Arenado’s RBI triple when the game was called after a wait of 3 hours, 37 minutes.

Arenado’s hit came against Juan Nicasio. Chad Bettis retired the Pirates in order in the bottom half.

The Pirates are scheduled to play at Colorado on June 9. That game was rescheduled from an earlier postponement.

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