Suzuki went 4-for-4 during the Mariners’ 16-3 win on Tuesday to give him 189 hits this season. He’s on pace for 262, which would set a single-season major league record.
“There’s on fire, and then there’s Ichiro,” Mariners manager Bob Melvin said. “He might make it into a new word: ‘Ichiro.”’
Suzuki, who leads the majors with a .367 batting average, recorded his 16th multihit game in his last 20. He’s hitting .490 since the All-Star break, and .516 in August.
“He’s a hitting machine,” Seattle left-hander Bobby Madritsch said. “I don’t think there is anything you can throw him that he’s not going to hit.
“You can skip-bounce a pitch to home plate and he’d still hit it. That guy is unbelievable. You’ll never see another Ichiro.”
With their victory Tuesday, the Mariners are in position to win three straight for the first time since a four-game run from June 17-20.
Ryan Franklin will take the mound for the Mariners on Wednesday. The 31-year-old right-hander, looking for his first win since June 5, is 0-7 with a 6.19 ERA in his last 12 starts.
“That is not good, but I don’t feel like I’m a 3-11 pitcher,” Franklin said of his 2004 record. “I’ve thrown some good games, just not good enough to win. But I’ve got to keep working.”
In his last start, a 6-3 loss to Minnesota on Thursday, Franklin allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings.
However, Franklin hasn’t been getting much help from his teammates lately. In his last four starts, the Mariners have scored nine runs.
The Royals, losers of eight of 11, lost three players to injury Tuesday. Mike Sweeney left after one at-bat with tightness in his lower back, Ken Harvey was taken for X-rays after being struck in the right elbow by a pitch from Madritsch in the third, and right-hander Matt Kinney left in the sixth with cramps in his right calf.