for this game

Suzuki ties mark, but Royals top Mariners

Sep 18, 2008 - 5:21 AM By Marc Bowman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- Ichiro Suzuki made history on Wednesday, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Kansas City Royals from downing the Seattle Mariners, 5-2.

Suzuki collected three hits, giving him 200 for the season, marking his eighth straight season of at least 200 hits to match "Wee" Willie Keeler's major league record set from 1894 to 1901.

Suzuki topped Wade Boggs' American League record of seven straight seasons of 200-plus hits, accomplished from 1983-89.

"In normal circumstances, there's no way I would associate (myself) with somebody that is that far apart," Suzuki said through an interpreter. "It has been roughly 100 years since 'Wee' Willie Keeler. But, thanks to something like this I have the opportunity to be associated with him and cross paths with him. That's something that makes me very happy."

"It's just an outstanding performance for eight years," Mariners manager Jim Riggleman said. "It's unbelievable. The guy has been here for eight years and I don't know how many hits he has, but I guess it is probably close to 1,800. It's an amazing performance."

Suzuki - who has 1,792 career hits - extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a third-inning double and is a career .365 hitter against the Royals, the best batting average by any player all-time against Kansas City.

"On a personal goal basis, this was the biggest thing to happen to me this season, bigger than 3,000 hits," Suzuki said in reference to reaching a career milestone for combined hits between Japan and the major leagues. "This season I was the only one who had the opportunity to tie this record. What people that are veterans and the people who went before us did, it is the job of younger players to go past that."

The Royals loaded the bases against reliever Roy Corcoran (5-2) - with the help of a muffed grounder by shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt. Jose Guillen's two-out, two-run single capped a three-run seventh that gave Kansas City a 4-2 lead. Guillen extended his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games.

"It was a very good hit," Guillen said. "It was the right man at the right time. We're playing great and that makes me happy. I feel comfortable at the plate right now and I hope I can do that the rest of the year.

The Royals added an insurance run in the eighth on a two-out single by Alberto Callaspo, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

Ryan Shealy's solo homer had cut Seattle's advantage to 2-1 in the fourth. Shealy has hit six home runs since being recalled from Class AAA Omaha on September 2 and has a five-game hitting streak during which he is batting .500.

"When I hit home runs, they tend to come in bunches," Shealy said. "But this is different for me. It sure makes it fun for me to come to the park. Everything's good. I was worried (the home run) might have been too high, but fortunately it kept going."

Gil Meche (12-11) worked seven innings, allowing two runs, six hits and three walks, striking out seven. The 30-year-old righthander is 9-3 with a 3.18 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 19 starts since June 10.

"I've been pitching consistently for three or four months," Meche said. "It isn't bad to get on this kind of a roll. I started off with an eight ERA in the month of April and then I had a really good run where I didn't lose for a while. Now I've pitched good for three or four months in a row and I'm just trying to finish it off."

Joakim Soria hurled a perfect ninth for his 40th save in 43 opportunities as Kansas City matched a season-high with its sixth straight win. Soria became the third pitcher in club history to record 40 saves.

"Thank goodness I'm healthy so far this season," Soria said. "I'll try to keep it going. I never set goals. I just try to do my best every time I go to the mound."

After Suzuki and Betancourt reached and worked a double steal in the first, Jose Lopez brought them both home with a sharp single to left-center to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead. Seattle managed only six hits the rest of the way in tying a season-high with its seventh straight loss.

"The losses have mounted up," Riggleman said. "They are tough losses. We had that game in hand in the seventh inning and it got away from us. It's too bad. We had some great performances. Ryan Rowland-Smith pitched a good ball game. Ichiro had a big night. Lopez continues to hit. It got away us from there (in the seventh)."

Rowland-Smith turned in another strong performance, hurling his sixth straight quality start with six innings of three-hit ball, allowing one run with four walks and one strikeout.

"It seems like that has kind of been the trend, the no-decisions," Rowland-Smith said. "I'm just trying to consistently get deep in the game without any runs. Obviously, you don't want to ever get taken out of the game. You want to stay in there until you're burned out. It's tough to lose the game, but that's not my decision."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 1
    KANSAS CITY 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 1 x 5 7 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: SEA - RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH, ROY CORCORAN (7TH), MIGUEL BATISTA (7TH),
    JUSTIN THOMAS (8TH) AND KENJI JOHJIMA
    KAN - GIL MECHE, RON MAHAY (8TH), RAMON RAMIREZ (8TH),
    JO

    Sep 17 10:50 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALBERTO CALLASPO SCORED JOHN BUCK.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A CALLASPO ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2
    KANSAS CITY 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: E GERMAN (.256, 1-FOR-1, BB, SAC)

    Mariners 2, Royals 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsSep 17 10:34 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSE GUILLEN SCORED ALBERTO CALLASPO AND DAVID
    DEJESUS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, J GUILLEN ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2
    KANSAS CITY 4 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: R SHEALY (.368, 1-FOR-3, HR, RBI)

    Mariners 2, Royals 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 17 10:16 PM
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    Mariners 2, Royals 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 17 10:16 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY MIKE AVILES SCORED JOHN BUCK.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D DEJESUS ON SECOND, A CALLASPO ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2
    KANSAS CITY 2 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J GUILLEN (.264, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Mariners 2, Royals 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 17 10:12 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 37 roots (Close Finish)

    Mariners 2, Royals 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 17 10:12 PM
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    Mariners 2, Royals 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 17 9:59 PM
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    Mariners 2, Royals 1  Bot 6, 0 OutsSep 17 9:46 PM
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    Mariners 2, Royals 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsSep 17 9:22 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RYAN SHEALY (6) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    4TH OFF RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2, KANSAS CITY 1
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: B BUTLER (.270, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners 2, Royals 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsSep 17 9:11 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 2 2 2 0
    KANSAS CITY 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: SEA - RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH
    KAN - GIL MECHE

    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: D DEJESUS (.300, 11 HR, 69 RBI)
    M AVILES (.324, 7 HR, 41 RBI)
    J GUILLEN (.265, 20 HR, 93

    Mariners 2, Royals 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 17 8:20 PM
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    Mariners vs. RoyalsSep 16 7:48 PM