PEORIA, Arizona – Ichiro Suzuki still felt the nerves of competition at age 45.
Ihciro started what may be his final spring training with a two-run, two-out single in the third inning Friday of the Seattle Mariners’ opening 8-1 win over the Oakland Athletics.
Batting seventh and playing left field, Ichiro fouled out in the second inning against Liam Hendriks and singled in the third off left-hander Ryan Buchter. Ichiro then was replaced by a pinch runner. He did not have any chances in the field.
“Of course you have nerves, but this was one I hadn’t experienced before, the nerves that I had today,” Suzuki said through an interpreter. “I’m just glad the first day’s out of the way.”
The Cactus League opener, delayed a day by Thursday’s rainout, was between the teams that meet in the season’s opening series on March 20-21 in Tokyo.