The majors’ leading hitter will try to help the struggling Mariners take the middle game of their weekend series with the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
Suzuki, leading the big leagues with a .369 average and 192 hits, was back in the lineup Friday after being hit in the head by a pitch Wednesday at Kansas City. The All-Star right fielder experienced dizziness after the beaning and wasn’t scheduled to play Thursday in a game that was eventually rained out.
Suzuki didn’t miss a beat in his return, going 3-for-4. But the Mariners dropped the series opener 8-3 for their fifth loss in seven games.
“I don’t normally not write his name in there,” Mariners manager Bob Melvin said of Suzuki. “Yesterday was one of the few days that it hasn’t happened. So it’s always a good feeling to send him out there. Especially the way he’s been swinging the bat.”
Suzuki, who is hitting .522 (36-for-69) in August, is trying to become the first player in major league history to get at least 200 hits in his first four seasons.
The 2001 AL MVP and Rookie of the Year is batting .400 (12-for-30) against the Tigers this year with a triple, a homer and three RBIs.
The Mariners will send struggling left-hander Jamie Moyer to the mound Saturday.
After winning a career-high 21 games last season, Moyer hasn’t posted a victory since June 18 at Pittsburgh. The 41-year-old southpaw is 0-5 over his last 10 starts, allowing at least three runs eight times over that span.
He didn’t receive a decision in last Saturday’s 6-4 loss to the New York Yankees, when he gave up four runs and seven hits, including two homers, over seven innings. Moyer has surrendered a major league-leading 33 homers this season, two shy of tying the club record for set by Scott Bankhead in 1987, when the team played in the Kingdome.
Moyer went 2-0 against the Tigers last season, improving to 9-6 with a 2.86 ERA in 24 career games, including 17 starts, against them.
Craig Monroe went 4-for-5 with a homer Friday for the Tigers, who have won three of four. Monroe is hitting .476 (10-for-21) with three homers and seven RBIs in his last seven games.
Bobby Higginson went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and is 9-for-14 (.643) with four homers and 12 RBIs during a four-game hitting streak.