The Associated PressSEATTLE (AP) — Mitch Haniger had a day that would be tough to upstage, reaching base five times and driving in four runs as the Seattle rookie continued his hot start.
With one swing, Miami’s Ichiro Suzuki managed to overshadow what Haniger accomplished even if it came in a 10-5 loss to the Mariners on Wednesday.
Haniger extended his hitting streak to 13 games with three hits as the Mariners closed out their only homestand of April 6-3.
But it was Suzuki providing a bit of nostalgia with a solo home run on the first pitch of the ninth inning, in possibly his final at-bat at Safeco Field, where he anchored right field and the top of Seattle’s batting order for 11½ seasons.
Suzuki jumped on a fastball from Evan Marshall that had just enough to clear the fence in right field as Haniger watched.
His first home run on the road in nearly four years came in perhaps his final Seattle appearance.
“It was my last at-bat, obviously, and the last chance. With the game the way it was going, that’s what I wanted to hit, right there,” Suzuki said through an interpreter, while also indicating he hoped to have another trip to Seattle in the future.
“Saw the ball go over the fence and I have to pinch myself to make sure that really happened. I feel grateful that happened.”
While Suzuki’s homer provided a longing for the past, it was the current right fielder who is providing the punch to Seattle’s offense on a day Felix Hernandez (2-1) did not have his best stuff.
A night after breaking up a potential no-hitter with a ninth-inning double, Haniger scored in the first inning, had a two-run single in the second and clanged a two-run double off the wall in deep center field in the fourth.
He reached on an error in the sixth inning and dropped another single in the eighth.
Haniger was considered the extra piece of Seattle’s biggest offseason move when it acquired Jean Segura in a trade with Arizona.
But with Segura sidelined by a hamstring strain, Haniger has starred. He is hitting .323.
“Mitch started out a little rough — the first couple of games to get the season going was a little rough, but over time the at-bats started to get better, and the results come,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said.
Kyle Seager also had four RBIs and was on base four times and Seattle knocked around Miami starter Edinson Volquez (0-2) early.