Mariners 16, Royals 3

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—If Ichiro Suzuki keeps hitting at his second-half pace, Seattle Mariners manager Bob Melvin believes there may be a new addition for the dictionary.

“There’s on fire, and then there’s Ichiro,” Melvin said. “He might make it into a new word: ‘Ichiro.”’

Suzuki went 4-for-4 and drove in a career-high five runs, leading the Mariners to a 16-3 rout of the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.

Suzuki led off the game with a home run for the second straight day—and third time this season, hitting the second pitch from Darrell May (9-13) into the Royals’ right-field bullpen.

Suzuki, who leads the majors with a .367 batting average, had his 16th multihit game in 20 games. He’s hitting .490 since the All-Star break, and .516 in August.

“I’m glad I don’t have to face him,” winning pitcher Bobby Madritsch said. “He’s a hitting machine. 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.”

Suzuki has 16 career four-hit games and two five hit games.

“You can’t really say I’m happy or satisfied with the season,” Suzuki said through a translator. “Every day, I look back at things I could have done better. The results obviously are good, but the way I feel at the plate is normal.”

Suzuki was not alone in putting up big offensive numbers for the Mariners.

Bret Boone hit two home runs and had four RBIs and Raul Ibanez had a career-high five hits and scored four runs for Seattle, which had season highs for runs and hits (20). Ibanez played the last three seasons with Kansas City.

“As good a night as Ichiro had, Raul had one more hit,” Melvin said. “It was a nice little homecoming for Raul.”

Said Ibanez: “This is a routine night for Ichiro. That’s his standard.”

The Mariners, however, lost rookie third baseman Justin Leone, who was called up July 1, for four to six weeks with two broken fingers on his left hand after being hit by a pitch from Matt Kinney in the fifth inning.

Rookie left-hander Madritsch (3-0) allowed one run and five hits in seven innings, and became only the fourth Mariners pitcher to begin his career with three wins.

The Mariners scored six runs in the second, which matched their season high for an inning. Jose Lopez hit an RBI single, Suzuki had a two-run double with the bases loaded, Randy Winn hit a two-run triple and Edgar Martinez singled home Winn making it 7-0, but was out trying to stretch it into a double.

Suzuki added a two-run single in the third to make it 9-1.

May, 7-4 in his previous 11 decisions, lasted just two-plus innings for his shortest start of the season. He allowed nine runs and gave up nine hits.

“Nine runs in two innings is never fun,” May said. “I got the ball where I wanted to and I walked away being satisfied with that. The Mariners just went out and hit the heck out of the ball.”

Boone hit a solo homer off Kinney in the sixth, and a three-run shot in the seventh off Jorge Vasquez.

The Royals lost three players to injuries. Mike Sweeney left after one at-bat with tightness in his lower back and is listed as day-to-day. Ken Harvey was taken for X-rays, which were negative, after being struck in the right elbow by a pitch from Madritsch in the third. Kinney left in the sixth with cramps in his right calf.

“I was lucky,” Harvey said. “It could have been my season.”

Notes

Joe Randa switched from third base to first for the Royals in the second inning after Sweeney left. It was the ninth time in his career—and the first time since July 22, 1998, while with Detroit—that he played first. Wilton Guerrero played first base in the ninth for the first time in his career. … OF David DeJesus went 0-for-5, snapping his Royals’ rookie-record hitting streak at 15 games.

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