Ichiro was the fourth-fastest player to reach 2,500 hits, trailing only Al Simmons (1,784 games), Ty Cobb (1,790) and George Sisler (1,808)
PHOENIX — Ichiro has tended to get milestone hits over with early in games, and his 2,500th was no exception.
The third pitch of Tuesday’s contest was hit into center field for a single by Ichiro to give him the milestone in just his 1,817th game. That makes him the fourth-fastest player to reach 2,500 hits, trailing only Al Simmons (1,784 games), Ty Cobb (1,790) and George Sisler (1,808).
Mariners manager Eric Wedge had said before the game that he didn’t think Ichiro would waste any time pressuring himself to reach the number.
“I think he’s been through so much where it’s just another day at the office,” Wedge said. “It’s a great achievement, don’t get me wrong, but for him, he’s so consistent with his preparation and his routine. He has so many things he’s already accomplished and more he will accomplish.
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“But he’s always going to go about his business the same way.”
Wedge had given Ichiro the night off on Monday and said he made sure his leadoff hitter was ready to go before inserting him back in the lineup. Ichiro opened the game with the single, a double and another single in his first three at-bats, then added a sacrifice fly and RBI double later.
The three hits were as many as Ichiro had managed in his last five games put together. He’d entered the night hitting just .206 since being inserted into the leadoff spot in the order on June 1.
• The Mariners plan to promote first-round draft pick Danny Hultzen to AAA this week. Hutzen,22, was named to the Southern League All-Star Game and the Mariners planned to have him play there — which he did Tuesday with a scoreless inning — before the promotion. Hultzen was recently named the league’s Pitcher of the Week for the second straight time. He is 8-3 with a 1.19 ERA in a dozen outings and has held opponents to a .151 average.
• Mariners outfielder Casper Wells, who had a tie-breaking, two-run single in the 10th inning Tuesday night, isn’t quite sure where he gained a reputation as a player who can’t hit right-handed pitching. Wells is 9 for 17 at the plate since being recalled from Class AAA last week and overall is batting .297 — including .333 off right-handed pitching.
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or firstname.lastname@example.org