Ichiro Suzuki breaks Pete Rose's hit mark, but San Diego Padres top Miami Marlins

By Bill Center, The Sports Xchange
Miami Marlins' Ichiro Suzuki tips his cap to the crowd. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Miami Marlins' Ichiro Suzuki tips his cap to the crowd. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

SAN DIEGO -- Ichiro Suzuki gained a slice of baseball history Wednesday afternoon at Petco Park, but the San Diego Padres still defeated Miami 6-3 to prevent a Marlins sweep of a three-game series.

With a first-inning single off Luis Perdomo and a two-out, ninth-inning double off Padres closer Fernando Rodney, Suzuki stretched his professional hit count to 4,257 -- eclipsing the major league record of 4,256 held by Pete Rose.


Of course, the 42-year-old Suzuki's total includes his 2,979 hits in the United States and his 1,278 hits earned during his nine-year career in Japan. All of Rose's hits came in the major leagues.

"Obviously, I've heard Pete Rose's comments that he wasn't very happy about me and the record," Suzuki said after Wednesday's game. "But this wasn't some kind of a goal. It was just a weird situation to be in.


"The 3,000 hits is a no-doubter ... that is a goal I want to achieve."

Suzuki is 21 hits shy of the 3,000 mark in the United States.

"Ichiro is a really special player and I love seeing him get this and keep his march toward 3,000 hits," said Marlins manager Don Mattingly. "It says a lot about him, how he prepares and his love for the game.

"You play to win the game and that is how he plays. I wish more people would do that during their careers. The numbers would end up being there at the end."

Ichiro opened the game with a chopped single up the first-base line off Perdomo to tie Rose's mark. His double off Rodney was pulled down the line.

"I did know he was one hit away before the game," said Perdomo. "I was happy he got that hit ... he's a Hall of Famer."

Rodney also carried no hard feelings for giving up No. 4,257.

"He got a good pitch to drive and he drove it," said Rodney. "It's baseball. I did my job."

Both Perdomo and Rodney played major roles in what was also something of a milestone win for the Padres.


The Padres went into Wednesday with a 1-20 record in series finales this season, a 3-18 mark in day games and a 0-7 mark in home day games. Make that 2-20, 4-18, 1-7.

Perdomo, 23, who had never pitched higher than Class-A before this season, allowed three runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts over six innings in his third start -- and best major league outing. After giving up a run in the first, Perdomo retired eight straight hitters for the first time en route to evening his record at 2-2. He lowered his earned run average from 9.50 to 8.79.

"He was great," Padres manager Andy Green said of Perdomo, who started the season in the Padres bullpen. "They got some ground ball hits in the first. Luis was living on ground balls. His slider was solid, his change-up was sharp. He was living in the bottom of the strike zone.

"He has the stuff. His stuff plays well in the major leagues. He just has to learn some subtle things about pitching."

Rodney picked up his 13th save in as many opportunities. He has yet to allow an earned run in 23 1/3 innings this season -- a franchise record to start a season.


Offensively, Melvin Upton Jr. fell a triple short of the cycle and he and Derek Norris drove in two runs apiece.

Upton was 3-for-4 and fell a triple shy of a cycle. He scored two runs and drove in two runs. Fellow outfielders Matt Kemp and Jon Jay also had two hits apiece for the Padres.

After trailing 1-0 and 3-1 early, the Padres took the lead with four straight, two-out hits in the fifth.

With the Padres trailing 3-2, Kemp started the decisive rally with single off Miami left-handed starter and loser Justin Nicolino (2-4) and moved to third on a double by Yangervis Solarte.

Norris put the Padres ahead 4-3 with a two-run single and advanced to second on the throw to the plate. Norris scored on Upton's third hit, a single.

Nicolino allowed five runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings.

The Padres mounted another two-out rally in the sixth off right-handed reliever Nick Wittgren to make it 6-3. Jay singled and scored when Wil Myers' long fly to right-center fell between Marlins right fielder Suzuki and center fielder Marcell Ozuna for a double.


Suzuki's first-inning hit led to Miami's first run.

Martin Prado singled Suzuki to second and Ichiro scored on Christian Yelich's single inside the third-base bag. But Perdomo got Ozuna to ground into a double play and retired Justin Bour on a come-backer to get out of the first without further damage.

Upton tied the game with one out in the bottom of the second on his ninth homer of the season, a 410-foot drive to right-center.

Perdomo hit Ozuna with one out in the top of the fourth to trigger a two-run rally. Back-to-back singles by Bour and J.T. Realmuto brought Ozuna home and Bour scored on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly. Perdomo got out of further trouble by retiring Nicolino on a come-backer.

The Padres pulled to within 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth on a double by Upton, a single by Alexei Ramirez and a sacrifice fly by Ryan Schimpf, who doubled in his Major League debut the previous night.

After Perdomo departed, Padres relievers Brandon Maurer, Ryan Buchter and Rodney each worked a scoreless inning. Rodney made only his fourth appearance in June.


"Ichiro is special," said Green. "He's as good as there is. He deserved more time for that achievement, but we wanted to finish the win."

NOTES: The Marlins are going to skip Jose Fernandez when his next scheduled start comes up Friday night against the Rockies in Miami. The right-hander's next start is being pushed back to next Tuesday as a way to shave innings off his first full season since having Tommy John surgery during the 2014 season. Fernandez has thrown 80 2/3 innings in 13 starts. With the Marlins off Thursday, everyone else works on normal rest. ... Ichiro Suzuki started in right for the Marlins on Wednesday, giving Giancarlo Stanton another day off to work on his swing.

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