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Ichiro rejoins Mariners at 44, says Seattle is home team

March 8, 2018

Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki arrives after signing a contract to a news conference at the teams' spring training baseball complex Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Peoria, Ariz. Suzuki signed a one year deal in his return to the Mariners. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Now that Ichiro Suzuki is back with the Seattle Mariners, he hopes to stick around a while.

“I think everybody hears that I want to play until I’m 50,” he said through a translator. “But I want to make sure everybody understands that I always say at least 50.”

The 44-year-old outfielder rejoined his former team Wednesday with a $750,000, one-year contract.

“Even in the offseason when I would go back to Japan, I always came back to Seattle. This was my home ... has always been my home,” he said. “Somewhere deep inside, I wanted to return and wear this uniform again.”

Suzuki was the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year with Seattle in 2001. He was traded to the New York Yankees during the 2012 season and spent three years in Miami.

Suzuki has a .312 career average and 3,080 hits, not including the 1,278 hits he totaled in Japan. He played 136 games last year for the Marlins and hit .255 with a .318 on-base percentage.

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said discussions about Suzuki’s return intensified about a week ago, when the club’s outfield injury situation became a greater concern.

“It did not take very long to put a deal together that brought Ichiro back home,” Dipoto said.

TWINS 8, RED SOX (SS) 1

J.D. Martinez went 0 for 2 in his Boston debut, hitting a pair of flyballs. Martinez, who signed with the Red Sox in late February, batted cleanup and played left field. Jake Odorizzi gave up a run on three hits over 3 2/3 innings in his second start for Minnesota. Twins newcomer Logan Morrison got two hits and Miguel Sano doubled.

PHILLIES 2, RED SOX (SS) 1

Philadelphia opening day starter Aaron Nola gave up just one hit in four strong innings, striking out five. Drew Hutchison, who signed a minor league deal in February, worked three solid innings for the Phillies, giving up a run on two hits while striking out four. Newcomer Carlos Santana got a hit and is batting .211.

MARLINS 7, ASTROS 6

Gerrit Cole worked 3 2/3 innings in his third start for Houston, striking out four and allowing four hits. Jose Altuve homered and George Springer got a hit and is batting .368 this spring. Lewis Brinson, acquired from Milwaukee in the Christian Yelich trade, continued to make a strong case for a major league roster spot by getting two hits, including his fifth double of the spring.

YANKEES 11, METS 4

Mets starter Zack Wheeler scattered four hits and fanned four in three scoreless innings. Travis d’Arnaud homered for the first time this spring.

Brett Gardner got two hits and well-traveled Billy McKinney, who has been part of trades for both Jeff Samardzija and Aroldis Chapman, hit a grand slam for his fourth homer for the Yankees.

CARDINALS 4, NATIONALS 3

Adam Wainwright worked 3 2/3 innings in his second start of the spring for St. Louis. Cardinals closer Luke Gregerson is expected to be sidelined for at least a couple of days with tightness in his oblique. Washington starter Max Scherzer struck out four and gave up a home run to Greg Garcia.

ORIOLES 7, RAYS 2

Jose Mesa, the 24-year-old son of the former major league reliever of the same name, gave up a run on two hits in two innings for Baltimore. Danny Valencia drove in three runs with a pair of doubles, raising his spring batting average to .411 for the Orioles. Tampa Bay lefty Blake Snell allowed two hits over three innings.

BLUE JAYS (SS) 6, TIGERS 5

Victor Martinez hit his third home run of the spring for Detroit. Dalton Pompey had two hits and a steal for Toronto.

BLUE JAYS (SS) 13, PIRATES 4

Russell Martin, playing third base, and Curtis Granderson each hit their third home runs for Toronto. J.A. Happ gave up two hits and two walks in his three-inning start. Josh Bell homered for Pittsburgh.

DODGERS 4, ANGELS 2

Clayton Kershaw pitched three shutout innings and Logan Forsythe homered and doubled for the Dodgers. Angels starter Clayton Richard struck out seven in four innings, allowing two hits and an earned run.

WHITE SOX 14, REDS 12

Yoan Moncada had three hits and scored twice for Chicago. Starter Miguel Gonzalez got just two outs, giving up five runs on four hits and two walks. Reds starter Homer Bailey was tagged for six runs and seven hits in three innings. Scott Schebler got four hits.

PADRES 4, GIANTS 4, 10 INNINGS

San Francisco lefty Madison Bumgarner threw 48 pitches over 3 1/3 innings, giving up two runs and striking out six. Evan Longoria doubled and Brandon Belt had two hits for the Giants. San Diego starter Tyson Ross gave up two runs in three innings.

ROCKIES 5, RANGERS 4

New Colorado closer Wade Davis gave up a two-run homer to Drew Robinson. Charlie Blackmon hit his second homer of the spring for the Rockies. Texas slugger Joey Gallo hit his second homer of the spring as he settles in at first base.

BREWERS 10, ROYALS 6

Milwaukee starter Junior Guerra allowed one earned run in four innings. Ramon Torres had three hits for Kansas City.

CUBS 11, INDIANS 6

Slimmed-down Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber hit his first home run of the spring after Chicago had already gotten to Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer for eight runs. Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr. and Tommy La Stella each had two hits for Chicago. Cleveland first baseman Yonder Alonso hit his second homer of the spring after signing with Cleveland as a free agent.

ATHLETICS 7, MARINERS 3

Robinson Cano hit his first home run of the spring for Seattle, but the Mariners were undone by a trio of Oakland homers as Sheldon Neuse, Jake Smolinski and Chad Pinder each went deep for the A’s during a five-run sixth inning. Seattle starter Marco Gonzalez pitched four scoreless innings and has yet to allow a run over nine innings this spring.

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