Ichiro(notes) Suzuki’s hitting streak is now a franchise record. He’ll try to continue his outstanding run, and help the Seattle Mariners win a series from the Baltimore Orioles for the first time in almost two years.
The Mariners look to accomplish that feat Wednesday night when the teams conclude their three-game series at Safeco Field.
Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 26 games on Tuesday, collecting two hits to help Seattle (25-28) to an 8-2 victory over Baltimore (24-29). That came a night after the right fielder kept the run alive by getting one of the Mariners’ two hits in a 1-0 loss in the series opener.
The eight-time All-Star is hitting .400 (46 for 115) with three homers during the streak, which is his seventh of at least 20 games since he arrived in Seattle for the 2001 season. He’s raised his batting average 62 points to .353 to rank third in the AL.
“I got this far, so I wanted to achieve it,” he said through an interpreter.
Suzuki will now try to help the Mariners take a series from the Orioles for the first time since a three-game sweep Aug. 7-9, 2007. They haven’t come close to that since, winning three of the next 12 with all of the victories coming at home.
Suzuki has a .370 average in 77 career games against Baltimore.
The left-hander is coming off his first win as a starter in over three years, allowing two runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. His previous win in a starting role came with Florida on April 13, 2006, before an elbow injury limited him to two games for the New York Mets the following season and hip surgery ruled him out for 2008.
“It’s been a while, and it’s a good feeling - especially to do it relatively close to where I’m from,” said Vargas, who was 0-0 with a 1.56 ERA in his previous three starts.
Vargas has been outstanding in three starts at Safeco, going 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA while striking out 12 in 14 2-3 innings.
The right-hander pitched into the ninth inning Friday, allowing two runs and seven hits in a 7-2 win over Detroit. That impressive performance came after he went 0-2 with a 6.15 ERA in his previous six games following a 10-3 victory over Chicago in his major league debut April 21.
“Obviously we would have liked for him to have a complete game,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said after Friday’s victory. “But I like the mindset that Bergesen had. He expected to go out in the ninth. He wanted it, and that’s what we’re trying to develop.”
Bergesen, Baltimore’s fourth-round pick in the 2005 draft, is 0-1 with a 5.50 ERA in three road starts.