photo from Nogi/Agence France-Presse: Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki left the field in the bottom of eighth inning on Thursday night to an ovation from fans in Tokyo
By Jerry Feitelberg
On an emotional day in Tokyo, Ichiro Suzuki said farewell to baseball. The 45-year old Suzuki went 0-for-4 in his last game and left in the eighth inning as the crowd rose to give a standing ovation for the last time an active player. Ichiro, without question, will be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot. He will be the first Japanese-born player to reach that lofty level.
There was still a game to play, and the M’s won for the second day in a row as they downed the A’s 5-4 in 12 innings. The M’s sent Yusei Kikuchi to do the pitching honors and he did fairly well in his MLB debut. He went 4 2/3 innings and allowed two runs and 4 hits. Marco Estrada made his A’s debut. His line was five innings of work and he gave up five hits and three runs.
The M’s put two runs on the board when former Oakland Athletic, Ryan Healy, took Estrada deep with a man on board. The M’s increased the lead to 3-0 in the third when Mitch Haniger sent one of Estrada’s pitches into the seats.
The A’s closed the gap when they tallied two in the bottom of the fifth. Marcus Semien singled to drive in Matt Olson with the A’s first run. Jurickson Profar scored the second run on Jay Bruce’s fielding error.
The M’s added a run in the seventh, but the A’s DH Khris Davis singled to drive in Semien and Matt Chapman with the tying runs.
The game remained tied until the top of the 12th inning. The M’s loaded the bases with one out. Domingo Santa, who hit a grand slam on Wednesday, reached on a fielder’s choice. The A’s failed to make the inning-ending double play and the M’s scored the go-ahead run. The M’s bullpen closed out the game for the win. The final score was 5-4 in favor of the M’s.
Game Notes and Stats: Marcus Semien was the hitting start for the A’s with three hits. Ramon Laureano had two knocks.
Up Next: The A’s resume Spring Training with three exhibition games against the San Francisco Giants. The two teams will play in Oakland on Sunday and then play in San Francisco Monday and Tuesday. The A’s are off on Wednesday. The A’s will start the season will a day opener Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels. Game time will be at 1:05 pm. They will have the night opener Friday at 7:05 PM.