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New York at Seattle

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N.Y. Yankees (58-38) «0003000104111
Seattle (42-56)001000000130

Ichiro takes bow in Seattle, helps new team win in debut for Yankees

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Ichiro Suzuki bowed twice to the fans and promptly smacked a single to center.

Sayonara, Seattle. Hello, Yankees.

Suzuki switched teams at Safeco Field after a momentous trade and singled his first time up with New York during its 4-1 victory against the Mariners on Monday night.

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"Obviously, it looks different being over here," Suzuki said through a translator. "I was worried about my first at-bat. I was really relieved with the standing ovation. It was a special day today."

In a surprising deal about 3½ hours before the game, Seattle sent Suzuki to the Yankees for a pair of young pitchers. After leaving the only major league team he had ever played for, the 10-time All-Star held an emotional news conference and then joined his new teammates in the other clubhouse.

Just like that, Suzuki went from last place in the AL West to first in the AL East. And he helped New York beat his former club by going 1 for 4 with his 16th stolen base.

The crowd of 29,911 gave Suzuki a 45-second standing ovation when he came to bat for the first time in the third inning. He doffed his helmet and bowed twice before hitting a single and stealing second base.

"My 11½ years here is a long time and I was thinking what I would feel like in my first at-bat," Suzuki said. "I really didn't think anything. Nothing came to me. It was just a wonderful day to experience that."

Hiroki Kuroda (10-7) allowed three hits over seven sharp innings to help the Yankees bounce back from a four-game sweep in Oakland. The right-hander struck out nine and walked one.

Alex Rodriguez hit his 15th home run this season -- the 644th of his career and 299th as a Yankee -- in the eighth. He also had a double in the fourth and scored twice. It was his 40th home run at Safeco Field but first since Aug. 22, 2006.

Mark Teixeira had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and an RBI.

David Robertson worked a hitless eighth and Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 27 chances. Fittingly, Suzuki caught the final out in right field.

Kevin Millwood (3-8) went seven innings, allowing nine hits and three runs.

Suzuki showed up in Seattle's clubhouse in the early afternoon wearing a fine suit with thin pinstripes. By the end of the day, he had a different sort of pinstripes on his mind.

"I am going from a team with the most losses to a team with the most wins," he said. "It's hard to contain my excitement for that reason."

The Yankees also got cash in the deal that sent 25-year-old righties D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar to the last-place Mariners.

Suzuki, in the final year of his contract, started in right field in place of injured Nick Swisher and batted eighth. It was the first time the 2001 AL MVP and Rookie of the Year started a game batting anywhere other than the top three spots in the lineup.

"Several weeks ago, Ichiro Suzuki, through his longtime agent, Tony Attanasio, approached [team president] Chuck Armstrong and me to ask that the Mariners consider trading him," said Howard Lincoln, the team's CEO. "Ichiro knows that the club is building for the future, and he felt that what was best for the team was to be traded to another club and give our younger players an opportunity to develop."

The Yankees made the deal a few days after learning that speedy outfielder Brett Gardner would likely miss the rest of the season because of an elbow problem, and manager Joe Girardi said Suzuki will mostly play left field.

"He looked good," Girardi said. "He hit the ball right on the screws twice. He stole a base, made a good throw to home. Kind of what we expected.

"We're really pleased to have him. This is a guy we think can do a lot of things for us. He's a very accomplished player. Our guys were really excited to see him."

Suzuki hit only .272 last season and was at .261 this year -- 62 points below his career average -- before the trade. But Girardi believes change is good.

"I think it can help a lot of guys," he said. "A couple years ago, we acquired Lance Berkman. He was huge for us down the stretch and the end of the year. He just got on a roll and I think Ichiro can do the same thing.

"He's used to high expectations. Every year he's expected to get 200 hits, score 100 runs. Slipping into our lineup maybe he won't feel all those expectations as much."

Suzuki said he did feel relaxed in among his new teammates.

"It's an atmosphere that's really comfortable," he said. "It's an atmosphere I love to be around."

Suzuki was given No. 31 because the number he wore his entire career with the Mariners, No. 51, has not been worn by a Yankee since four-time World Series champion Bernie Williams last played.

"No. 51 is a special number to me, but when I think about what 51 means to the Yankees, it's hard for me to ask for that number," said Suzuki, who holds the major-league record for most hits in a season.

When Suzuki trotted out to right field in the first, fans stood and applauded. He tipped his hat and waved it in a half-circle.

The Mariners scored in the third on John Jaso's RBI single to right. Suzuki's hard throw to the plate was too late to get Dustin Ackley.

The Yankees responded with three in the fourth. Rodriguez ripped a one-out double high off the right-field wall and Robinson Cano walked. Teixeira doubled to right, scoring Rodriguez and sending Cano to third.

Raul Ibanez followed with a first-pitch single to left, scoring Cano for a 2-1 lead. Teixeira scored on Andruw Jones' single.

Notes

  • No. 31 had been worn by 41 former Yankees coaches or players, including Tim Raines and Hall of Famer Dave Winfield.
  • It was the eighth time in club history that the Mariners played at home the day after the longest flight in the American League (2,510 miles) from Tampa Bay. They are 4-4 in those games.
  • Mariners 1B Justin Smoak went hitless in three at-bats and is riding an 0-for-19 streak.
  • Millwood has given up 32 hits to Suzuki, more than any other pitcher.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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While Seattle fans give him a standing ovation, Ichiro Suzuki gets into his familiar stance in a starkly unfamiliar uniform.  (Getty Images)
While Seattle fans give him a standing ovation, Ichiro Suzuki gets into his familiar stance in a starkly unfamiliar uniform. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
New York

M. Teixeira
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
New York

H. Kuroda
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 1
K 9
 
New York Yankees
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Derek Jeter, SS5010012 .309
Curtis Granderson, CF4000032 .246
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4221001 .274
Robinson Cano, 2B3110100 .318
Mark Teixeira, 1B4131001 .263
Raul Ibanez, DH3011102 .242
Andruw Jones, LF4011012 .230
Ichiro Suzuki, RF4010002 .261
Russell Martin, C4010013 .181
Totals35411426  
Batting
2B - Alex Rodriguez (14, Millwood), Mark Teixeira 2 (23, Millwood, Delabar)
HR - Alex Rodriguez (15, Delabar)
RBI - Alex Rodriguez (44), Mark Teixeira (66), Raul Ibanez (42), Andruw Jones (27)
SB - Ichiro Suzuki (16, 2nd base off Millwood/Jaso), Russell Martin (2, 2nd base off Millwood/Jaso)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Kuroda-Cano-Teixeira
E - Alex Rodriguez (7, Throwing)
New York Yankees
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Hiroki Kuroda (W,10-7) 7311190 3.34
David Robertson (H,12) 1000020 2.12
Rafael Soriano (S,25) 1000010 1.62
Pitches-Strikes - Hiroki Kuroda 107-65, David Robertson 11-9, Rafael Soriano 11-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hiroki Kuroda 9-3, David Robertson 1-0, Rafael Soriano 1-1
Batters Faced - Hiroki Kuroda 25, David Robertson 3, Rafael Soriano 3
Seattle Mariners
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Dustin Ackley, 2B3100120 .224
Casper Wells, LF4010031 .261
John Jaso, C4021000 .292
Jesus Montero, DH4000012 .257
Kyle Seager, 3B3000012 .238
Michael Saunders, CF3000010 .259
Justin Smoak, 1B3000020 .189
Carlos Peguero, RF3000020 .208
Brendan Ryan, SS3000000 .186
Totals30131112  
Batting
2B - Casper Wells (10, Kuroda)
RBI - John Jaso (25)
2-OUT RBI - John Jaso (7)
SB - Dustin Ackley (10, 2nd base off Kuroda/Martin), John Jaso (1, 2nd base off Kuroda/Martin)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Ackley-Ryan-Smoak, Smoak-Ryan-Millwood, Ryan-Ackley-Smoak
Seattle Mariners
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kevin Millwood (L,3-8) 7933250 4.13
Steve Delabar 1211001 4.29
Josh Kinney 1000010 1.59
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 102-68, Steve Delabar 19-12, Josh Kinney 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 7-6, Steve Delabar 3-0, Josh Kinney 1-1
Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 29, Steve Delabar 5, Josh Kinney 3
Game Information
Attendance - 29911
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Manny Gonzalez, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Gerry Davis