• Kyodo


Ichiro Suzuki got an RBI triple to hit safely in his third straight game, but the Seattle Mariners were still seeking their first victory of the spring after a 9-6 defeat to the San Diego Padres after 10 innings on Sunday.

News photoSeattle Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki smiles in the dugout Sunday prior to a preseason game against the San Diego Padres in Peoria, Arizona. San Diego won 9-6 in 10 innings. Ichiro batted 1-for-3 with an RBI triple.

Elsewhere, Chicago White Sox infielder Tadahito Iguchi doubled to hit in his third game in a row while teammate Shingo Takatsu pitched one inning of one-run ball in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Ichiro, who set a single-season major league record with 262 hits last season, broke a 2-2 tie with a line drive to right-center in the fifth inning and was 1-for-3 on the day.

“In my first year everyday results were something special to me and even afterward, nothing has changed much,” said Ichiro, who is playing in his fifth preseason in the majors.

The Padres took the game to extra innings on a Jesse Garcia homer in the ninth and scored three runs in the 10th for the victory.

At Tuscon, Ariz., Iguchi doubled to right field in the first inning and struck out and flied out in his other at-bats. Takatsu took the mound in the fourth and gave up three hits as the second pitcher in relief. The Diamondbacks won 8-3.

At Vero Beach, Fla., Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Norihiro Nakamura showed solid defense at first base after coming in in the sixth inning but struck out in two at-bats in a game against the Baltimore Orioles. The Dodgers lost 4-2.

At Port St. Lucie, Fla., New York Mets infielder Kazuo Matsui went 1-for-3 with a single, a walk and two runs scored in his team’s 14-5 romp over the Washington Nationals. Matsui also made a fine defensive play at second base when he fielded a grounder that took an irregular hop with his bare hand.

At Tampa, Fla., Hideki Matsui struggled against Ramon Ortiz’s changeup and went hitless in three at-bats as the New York Yankees fell 6-5 to the Cincinnati Reds.

“My timing was all off on his changeup. Some good pitches came but I wasn’t able to attack the ball well,” said Matsui, who grounded out and flied to Ortiz before striking out swinging to lefty Kent Mercker in his other at-bat.

Buffs aim to entertain

OSAKA (Kyodo) The Orix Buffaloes will have a business tie-up with entertainment company Yoshimoto Kogyo Co. aimed at building publicity for the Pacific League team created through the merger with the Kintetsu Buffaloes, it was announced Monday.

Orix manager Akira Ogi visited the Osaka-based company’s headquarters in Chuo Ward where he gave a press conference with Yoshimoto Kogyo President Isao Yoshino.

“We can learn many things from this company that serves as the center for entertainment in Japan,” said Ogi. “I’d like to really increase the level of fun for our fans.”

The period of the tie-up will be for one year, effective from March 1, and be renewed every other year.

Yoshimoto Kogyo, a company famous for its theatrical slapstick performances, hopes to help the Kobe-based club with its public relations and increasing its fan base.

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