Ichiro Suzuki doesn't like to get days off, and he accentuated his desire to play in dramatic fashion once he got back on the field.
The Seattle Mariners right fielder opened Tuesday's game with his 2,500th career hit and went on to collect three more hits, two of them doubles, in the Mariners' 10-inning, 12-9 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"If you look at me now and you look at me when I first got here in 2001, if I said that my first day that my goal was to hit 2,500, on that day people would (have said) I was crazy," Ichiro said in an extended meeting with the media after the game.
"Now looking at it, things do come true."
Manager Eric Wedge gave Ichiro his second day off in the space of three weeks Monday, in large measure because Ichiro was hitting just .206 since being moved from the No. 3 spot in the batting order to his old spot as the leadoff man.
Ichiro never likes to sit out, and yet Wedge said that his right fielder needed the time off. Ichiro not only had the four hits but also added a sacrifice fly. It was the sacrifice fly, coming as it did in the eighth inning, that tied the game at 9, forcing extra innings.
He doubled home the Mariners' final run in a three-run 10th inning that secured the win.
"He looked stronger to me today," Wedge said. "He's going to have to understand that sometimes it's not a bad thing to get a day off."