With the standings long since rendered moot for the Seattle Mariners, perhaps the most intriguing race left for their fans is the one that features Ichiro Suzuki and history.
With a 10th c onsecutive 200-hit season in 2010, Ichiro would own outright the American League record for a career - a record he now shares with Ty Cobb. And, should he get his 10th, he would match the big-league record of Pete Rose.
It's hardly a done deal, but Ichiro need 29 hits in his final 29 games, including tonight, to reach the 200 milestone. By going 2-for-5 last night, Ichiro pulled out his 54th multi-hit game of the season.
There are other things going on, of course, but nothing with any more drama than Ichiro's quest. He'll continue it tonight against right-hander Josh Tomlin of the Cleveland Indians.
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- Easy inning for Doug Fister, who worked around a one-out single.
- Ichiro swung at the first pitch and singled to shortstop, hit No. 172. Of those, 46 have been infield singles. With one and Franklin Gutierrez at the plate, Ichiro was caught stealing.
- Fister a 1-2-3 second inning. The 26-year-old right-hander has one win since May, yet has proven himself an end-of-the-rotation plus and almost certainly cemented a spot in the 2011 rotation.
- Second-inning singles by Russell Branyan and Casey Kotchman were undermined by the double play Jose Lopez hit into. After two: No score.
- Fister works a 1-2-3 third inning.
- In his second at-bat, Ichiro doubled to right center field, his second hit of the night and 173rd of the season. It's also his 55th multi-hit game of 2010. Amazing. Chone Figgins singled Icihro to third with one out. Gutierrez flied out, Ichiro scoring. Branyan homered, his 21st. In the third: Seattle 3, Cleveland 0.
- Another 1-2-3 for Fister. He's allowed one base runner in the first four inings.
- With Ryan Langerhans aboard on an error and two out, Ichiro struck out. After four: Seattle 3, Cleveland 0.
- Fister appeared to hit a wall in the sixth inning, giving up singles to Luis Valbuena, Michael Brantley and Asdrubal Cabrera to load 'em up - then a one-out double to Shin-Soo Choo to unload them. Travis Hafner singled Choo home. In the sixth: Cleveland 4, Seattle 3.
- In the ninth, with two out, Jamie Wright gave up a single to Cabrera and a home run to Choo, his 16th. In the ninth: Cleveland 6, Seattle 3.
- A quiet ninth, an 82nd loss. The Mariners clinched a losing season. It's a final: Cleveland 6, Seattle 3.