The 42-year old Suzuki now owns 2,994 MLB hits and has 4,272 as a professional, counting his 1,278 hits during nine seasons in Japan. He nearly had a fourth hit, but his third inning infield single was erased after a replay review proved the throw of shortstop Aledmys Diaz barely nipped him at first.
Still, it was a successful weekend professionally and personally for Suzuki, who was greeted by warm ovations for most of his at-bats by Cardinal fans.
"It was three games that I'll probably never forget," Suzuki said through an interpreter. "It's a special place with special fans. I don't think I'd experience this (in a road stadium) unless I was in St. Louis."
Best of all for Suzuki, the contributions came in the rubber game of a key series. Shooting for their first playoff appearance since 2003, the Marlins (49-42) remained tied with the New York Mets for the second wild-card spot, dropping St. Louis (47-44) two games in arrears.
While Suzuki doesn't play every day on a team with an outstanding outfield in Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton, he's enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance season. Suzuki is batting .347 in 170 at-bats and has also drawn 22 walks, giving him one of the best walk rates of his career.
Miami manager Don Mattingly said Suzuki's professionalism has helped reduce the temptation to play him more to get the record chase done.
"Ich has taken a lot of pressure off everyone by saying he's going to play until he's 50," Mattingly said. "So he should be able to get (six) more hits in the next (eight) years."
Yelich drove in three runs, two coming on a single in the fifth that scored Suzuki and Martin Prado for a 3-1 lead. Stanton snapped a 3-3 tie in the seventh when he lasered an RBI double to center off reliever Jonathan Broxton (1-2) that plated Yelich.
The Marlins' bullpen locked down the outcome with 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Former Cardinal farmhand Kyle Barraclough (5-2) pitched 1 2/3 perfect innings, fanning three, to earn the win. Closer A.J. Ramos pitched around Matt Holliday's leadoff double in the ninth for his 29th save.
It wasn't a good day for St. Louis in any aspect. It was outhit 13-4 and fanned 15 times, including four by Randal Grichuk and three by Tommy Pham.
Perhaps frustrated with the outcome and another series loss at home, where the Cardinals are 20-28 this year, Pham ripped home plate umpire Marvin Hudson.
"The strike zone was horrible, man," Pham said. "I mean, the guy had no sense of the inside part of the plate or the outside part of the plate. He needs to be held accountable. It's a guy with a lot of years in the league, you know what I'm saying? It'd be different if it were called both ways, but it wasn't."
Matt Holliday was the only offensive highlight for St. Louis, going 3-for-4 with a solo homer in the second, his 16th of the year.
Neither starter was involved in the decision.
Michael Wacha lasted just four-plus innings and 101 pitches for the Cardinals, giving up seven hits and three earned runs with two walks and four strikeouts.
Miami's Adam Conley worked 5 1/3 innings, permitting three hits and three runs -- two earned -- with three walks and nine strikeouts.
NOTES: St. Louis C Yadier Molina got the day off, just the 12th game in 91 he hasn't started. Alberto Rosario picked up just his second big league start. ... Miami gave CF Marcell Ozuna the day off as well, giving Ichiro Suzuki a start as he chases 3,000 MLB hits. ... Cardinals SS Aledmys Diaz's walk in the fourth inning extended his streak of reaching base safely to 21 games, the longest by an MLB rookie this year and the franchise's longest for a rookie since Albert Pujols rattled off a 48-game streak in 2001.