New York Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki compiled at least three hits in two games on the same day for the first time in his illustrious career, going 7-for-8 during Wednesday's day-night doubleheader sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.
Suzuki went 3-for-4 with a double and scored two runs in game one, a 4-2 victory that also marked Andy Pettitte's successful return, before racking up four stolen bases and four hits in as many at-bats--including a go-ahead, eight-inning RBI single--to help lead the Yankees past Toronto 2-1 in the nightcap.
The veteran joined teammate Derek Jeter (2008), Johnny Damon (2006), Willie Randolph (1987), Dave Winfield (1983), Matty Alou (1973) and Roy White (1972) as the only Yankees in team history to have recorded at least three hits in each game of a doubleheader.
"I haven't changed [my approach]," Suzuki, whose eighth-inning catch in left on Rajai Davis' liner with the bases loaded in game one preserved a one-run lead, told Yahoo! Contributor Network via his interpreter. "I don't know why. ... It's one of those things."
The former AL MVP displayed his funnier side shortly after, remarking, "I'm just really sad that the day is over."
The back end of New York's twinbill with Toronto was tied at 1 with two outs in the eighth when Suzuki was about to face left-handed reliever Aaron Loup. With the potential winning run (Curtis Granderson) merely 90 feet away, the announced crowd of 39,997 reacted to the 38-year-old's introduction as though the right man was coming to the plate.
They would not be let down. Suzuki fouled off a slider, eyeballed another for ball one and lined Loup's 1-1, 94 mph two-seamer to shallow left, easily scoring Granderson from third.
"Before that at-bat, I obviously can't get too excited," Suzuki said. "And obviously after I got the hit, I was excited.
"The fans have just been so awesome to just support me and give me that moment of satisfaction, accepting me into this whole thing. So it's been great."
Notes on Ichiro Suzuki's day
14: The number of times he's gotten at least three hits in a single game this season (has done so five times as a Yankee).
3: The number of times he's collected at least six hits combined in a doubleheader. While a member of the Seattle Mariners, Suzuki went 6-for-11 against the New York Mets on June 8, 2003, and 6-for-6 vs. the Baltimore Orioles on Aug. 3, 2004.
4: Both his season and Yankees career-high for hits in one game. He has reached the four-hit mark a total of three times this season.
49: The number of games in which he's tallied at least four hits.
4: His career-best in stolen bases. He's stolen four bases in the same contest three times in his MLB career. Additionally, Suzuki is the first Yankee to steal that many bases in one game since Tony Womack in 2005 (May 11 and 15).
2: The number of times he's tallied four hits and four stolen bases in one game. Suzuki's only four-hit, four SB game prior to game two Wednesday took place on July 20, 2004 vs. the Boston Red Sox.
Wednesday night's Yankees-Blue Jays matchup marked the first time any Major Leaguer has recorded at least four hits and four stolen bases in the same game since center fielder Julio Borbon went 4-for-5 and stole four bases for the Texas Rangers in a 7-2 win over Boston on Aug. 15, 2009.
The last Yankee to pick up at least four hits and four stolen bases in a game before Suzuki was Rickey Henderson, who went 5-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI, four runs scored and four stolen bases in a 17-9 loss to Toronto on April 11, 1988.
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