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Japanese outfielder Ichiro Suzuki reaches 3,000 hit milestone

Monday, 8 August 2016

Ichiro Suzuki of the Miami Marlins acknowledges the crowd after hitting a 7th inning triple against the Colorado Rockies for the 3,000th hit of his MLB career, at Coors Field in Denver, on August 7, 2016
Ichiro Suzuki of the Miami Marlins acknowledges the crowd after hitting a 7th inning triple against the Colorado Rockies for the 3,000th hit of his MLB career, at Coors Field in Denver, on August 7, 2016

Japanese star Ichiro Suzuki became the 30th member of Major League Baseball’s elite 3,000-hit club after blasting a triple in the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies.

The 42-year-old centre fielder launched a drive from Rockies reliever Chris Rusin high off the right field wall as the Miami Marlins won 10-7 on Sunday in Denver.

Ichiro tied Roberto Clemente for 29th place on baseball’s all-time hit list. He also had an infield single in Saturday’s game to get within one of the milestone.

“It’s not about the 3,000 and what I did. It’s about my teammates and the fans,” said Ichiro.

“When you have those moments with your teammates and the fans — that’s when I feel the joy and have fun.”

Making his first start since July 29, Ichiro struck out in his first at-bat and grounded out twice more.

He then took advantage of a 2-1 count by ripping Rusin’s 86 mph pitch off the scoreboard to become just the second player in major-league history to triple for hit No. 3,000. The other is Minnesota Twins star Paul Molitor.

Ichiro’s teammates came out of the dugout to celebrate the moment while the Rockies’ players also applauded from their side of the field.

Ichiro had another plate appearance in the ninth and drew a walk.

At 42 years, 290 days, Ichiro is the second-oldest player to reach 3,000 hits.

He is also the fourth player born outside of the United States to reach 3,000 hits, joining Clemente, Rod Carew and Rafael Palmeiro.

Ichiro has recorded 4,278 hits over his professional career, topping Major League Baseball hit leader Pete Rose (4,256). He did not make his American major league debut until 2001.

Ichiro, who is a two-time batting champion and 10-time All-Star, moved past Rose in June.

Ichiro recorded 1,278 hits with Orix Blue Wave in Japan from 1992-2000 before compiling another 2,533 with the Seattle Mariners (2001-12). He added 311 with the New York Yankees (2012-14) and 156 with Miami (2015-16).

Source by: AFP

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