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Blue Jays continue set in Bronx as Ichiro eyes 4,000th hit

The Sports Network
8/21/2013 1:59:43 PM
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The Toronto Blue Jays continue a four-game set with New York Yankees on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium as Ichiro Suzuki eyes the 4,000th hit of his professional career.

Suzuki notched three hits in the first game of the Yankees doubleheader sweep of the Jays on Tuesday, leaving him with 3,999 in a career that began with the Orix Blue Wave in Japan.

The outfielder recorded 1,278 hits while playing in Japan and his 2,721 hits during his major league career are 374 more than anyone else since coming over in 2001.

His total hit number ranks third all-time behind only Pete Rose's record of 4,256 and Ty Cobb's 4,191.

"I didn't have 4,000 hits in my whole career, and you can go back to tee ball," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "To me, it's an unbelievable feat. He's some kind of hitter."

Suzuki scored twice in the Yanks' 8-4 come-from-behind win in game one on Tuesday, but then scored the winning run in a 3-2 triumph in the nightcap.

Suzuki was not in the starting lineup for the second game, but entered in the ninth as a pinch-runner for Mark Reynolds, who opened the frame with a walk. Suzuki was then bunted over to second and promptly stole third. Jayson Nix, who had homered earlier in the contest to even the game, then delivered the game winning single, sending New York to its eighth win in 10 games.

"I feel like we've had a little bit of a jolt in our team," Nix said. "We're playing really well right now. It's a good time for it."

Robinson Cano was 6-for-8 with a home run and five RBI in the twinbill. His home run was the 200th of his career.

"It means a lot," Cano said, who is now 16th on the all-time list in Yankees history. "As a kid, you always dream to be able to hit one. Then, to hit 200, it means a lot to me. Right now, we're in a situation where we need to win games. It's good to hit 200, but it's great to get a win."

Toronto, meanwhile, has now lost 11 in a row at Yankee Stadium dating back to last season. To make matters worse the team placed outfielder Jose Bautista on the disabled list after the slugger left game one of the DH with a sore hip.

Hoping to reverse their fortunes on Wednesday will be knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who is 9-11 with a 4.49 ERA. Dickey did not get a decision on Friday against Tampa bay, as he allowed four runs and six hits in seven innings of a 5-4 loss.

"Sometimes it's just the nature of the game, and sometimes it's just a situation we've got to take ownership of what we don't do well and try to execute better the next time," Dickey said afterwards. "Tonight, for me, was tough, because I had a good knuckleball."

Dickey lost to the Yankees the last time he faced them and is 3-2 in 11 games (5 starts) against them with a 3.25 ERA.

Heading to the hill for the Yanks on Wednesday will be righty Adam Warren, who will be making his first start of the season and just the second of his career. Warren has pitched in 24 games out of the bullpen for the Yankees this season and has gone 1-2 with a 3.57 ERA.

The Yankees have beaten the Blue Jays in 10 of 11 matchups this season, including all eight in the Bronx.

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