LAS VEGAS – Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki saw his preseason hitting streak snapped at 20 games after going 0-for-5 against the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
Ichiro, who had hit safely in all of his games this spring, grounded out three times, reached on an error on a grounder to shortstop and flied out to right. Seattle won the game 5-4.
At Lakeland, Fla., Hideki Matsui grounded out to second and flied out to right in the Yankees’ 4-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
Matsui finished spring training with a .317 average, going over .300 for the third straight year, on 20-for-63 batting with five homers and 16 RBIs. The Yankees open their regular season on Sunday against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
“I had some rough outings batting-wise but I think I batted well throughout spring training.” Matsui said. “I have nothing left to work on when it comes to batting mechanics. In that sense, I’m ready for the opening of the regular season.”
In Port St. Lucie, Fla., New York Mets infielder Kazuo Matsui went 2-for-4 for his first multi-hit game in two weeks.
Matsui, batting second in the order and playing second base, singled to left twice and drew a walk in the Mets’ 11-9 loss to the Florida Marlins. It was his third multi-hit game of the spring and first since March 15.
In Milwaukee, Chicago White Sox rookie Tadahito Iguchi went 0-for-3 in a 7-6 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. White Sox right-hander Shingo Takatsu allowed a run and two hits in one inning.
Elsewhere, outfielder So Taguchi came on as a pinch-hitter and was retired in his lone at-bat in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 3-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles in Oklahoma City.
In Anaheim, Norihiro Nakamura also went hitless in one at-bat as the Los Angeles Dodgers fell 8-3 to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Meanwhile, the New York Mets said Kazuhisa Ishii will make his first regular-season start on April 7 against the Cincinnati Reds.
Ishii’s debut for the Mets had originally been set for April 9 against the Atlanta Braves but changed after Kris Benson, the Mets’ No. 3 starter, complained of discomfort in his right shoulder.
Ishii, who was traded to the Mets from the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 20, had an 0-2 record in four preseason games with an impressive 0.71 ERA. On Thursday, he pitched 5 2/3 innings allowing a run on three hits in his only preseason start for the Mets.
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