Ichiro Suzuki goes out in style, retires after series in Japan

Ichiro Suzuki’s career has come full circle. Suzuki started his professional baseball career in Japan in 1992. Twenty-seven years later, he decided to call it quits in Japan.

The 45-year-old Suzuki announced his retirement following Thursday’s game between the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics. As expected he got the start in his final game. He went 0 for 4, popping out in foul territory, grounding out to second, and striking out looking. And then, in the top of the eighth inning with a runner on second, the True Hit King grounded out to short, just barely failing to beat it out.

Suzuki took his position in right for the bottom of the eighth before all the Mariners left the field, giving Suzuki a final, international, ovation. The crowd was deafening. Dee Gordon cried, so did Yusei Kikuchi, who was making his major league debut. The Mariners won the game 5-4 in 12 innings.

After the game, Suzuki released a statement through the Mariners.

“I have achieved so many of my dreams in baseball, both in my career in Japan and, since 2001, in Major League Baseball. I am honored to end my big league career where it started, with Seattle, and think it is fitting that my last games as a professional were played in my home country of Japan. I want to thank not only the Mariners, but the Yankees and Marlins, for the opportunity to play in MLB, and I want to thank the fans in both the U.S. and Japan for all the support they have always given me.”

See Ichiro's final appearances in the MLB: 

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Ichiro Suzuki's final MLB games
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Ichiro Suzuki's final MLB games
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners prepares at bat in the 8th inning during the game between Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 21, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners grounds out in the 8th inning during the game between Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 21, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
Seattle Mariners Ichiro Suzuki (L) runs to the first base in the top of eighth inning at the Major League Baseball Japan Opening Series in Tokyo on March 21, 2019. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners hugs with his team mate Outfielder Mitch Haniger #17 as he is substituted to retire from baseball in the 8th inning during the game between Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 21, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners applauds fans while he walks to the dugout as he is substituted to retire from baseball during the game between Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 21, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners applauds fans as he is substituted to retire from baseball during the game between Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 21, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
Seattle Mariners Ichiro Suzuki leaves the field in the bottom of eighth inning at the Major League Baseball Japan Opening Series in Tokyo on March 21, 2019. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
Seattle Mariners Ichiro Suzuki leaves the field in the bottom of eighth inning at the Major League Baseball Japan Opening Series in Tokyo on March 21, 2019. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
Seattle Mariners Ichiro Suzuki leaves the field in the bottom of eighth inning at the Major League Baseball Japan Opening Series in Tokyo on March 21, 2019. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
Seattle Mariners Ichiro Suzuki runs to the first base in the top of the fourth inning at the Major League Baseball Japan Opening Series in Tokyo on March 21, 2019. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
Seattle Mariners Ichiro Suzuki (R) hugs with Ken Griffey Jr., former professional baseball player, after he leaving the field in the bottom of eighth inning at the Major League Baseball Japan Opening Series in Tokyo on March 21, 2019. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners shows his emotion as he is substituted to retire from baseball during the game between Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 21, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
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Suzuki’s decision to leave baseball may come as a surprise considering he’s stated he wanted to continue playing until he’s 50. Suzuki was also adamant that he was aiming to play for the Mariners throughout 2019, not just two games.

When Major League Baseball announced the Mariners would open the season in Japan, many expected Suzuki would receive playing time for those two games. Given that Suzuki played just 15 games in 2018, some speculated Suzuki would retire immediately following the series in Japan. Those predictions turned out to be correct.

Suzuki leaves the game as a sure-fire Hall of Famer, and one of the most important players to ever step foot on a baseball field. Suzuki was not the first player from Japan to play in MLB, but he had the biggest immediate impact on the game.

As a 27-year-old rookie, Suzuki hit .350/.381/.457 over 738 plate appearances. He won the Rookie of the Year award, was named the MVP and led the Mariners to a record 116 wins.

Suzuki dominated MLB over his first decade in the United States. From 2001 to 2010, he hit .331/.376/.430. In that period he made 10 All-Star teams, won nine Gold Glove awards, earned three Silver Sluggers and finished in the top-10 of MVP voting four times.

His success paved the way for many other talented players from Japan who wanted to test their skills in MLB. Yu Darvish, Masahiro Tanaka, Kenta Maeda, Shohei Ohtani, Hideki Matsui, Tadahito Iguchi and Daisuke Matsuzaka, among many others, made their MLB debuts after Suzuki. Yusei Kikuchi made his MLB debut on Thursday, in Suzuki’s very last MLB game.

Take a look back at Ichiro Suzuki's career: 

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Ichiro Suzuki through his career
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Ichiro Suzuki through his career
SEATTLE, UNITED STATES: Seattle Mariner Ichiro Suzuki addresses members of the media on 30 November 2000 upon his arrival in Seattle, Washington. Suzuki signed a three-year contract with the Mariners. AFP PHOTO/DAN LEVINE (Photo credit should read DAN LEVINE/AFP/Getty Images)
Seattle Mariners leadoff batter Ichiro Suzuki of Japan watches his second inning double to left field against New York Yankees starting pitcher Roger Clemens during their American League matchup at Safeco Field in Seattle, May 20, 2001. Suzuki was beaned by a pitch on May 19 and was unable to score a hit after scoring at least one hit in the prior 23 games. REUTERS/Anthony P. APB/RCS
Seattle Mariners rightfielder Ichiro Suzuki catches a ball hit deep by Oakland A's batter Miguel Tejada during the first inning of their American League game at Safeco Field in Seattle, June 28, 2001. The A's won the game 6-3. REUTERS/Anthony P. APB
Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki of Japan hugs New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine before the 72nd All-Star game at Safeco Field in Seattle July 10. Ichiro, the leading vote-getter in both leagues will play in his first All-Star game. PJ/JP
Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki catches a long drive by Boston Red Sox batter Jose Offerman in his glove (Left Photo) but then loses it for a home run as he collides with the wall of the bullpen (Right Photo) in the second inning of their August 16, 2001 American League game at Fenway Park in Boston. JRB
Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki singles off Baltimore Orioles pitcher Rick Bauer in the fourth inning at Camden Yards in Baltimore, September 2, 2001. The Mariners went on to win the game 1-0. REUTERS/Joe Giza JG/ME
American League All-Star Ichiro Suzuki, of the Seattle Mariners, grounds out to second during third inning action in the 2002 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Milwaukee July 9, 2002. REUTERS/Mike Blake PJ
Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki warms up prior to his first at bat against the Anaheim Angels July 21, 2002 in Anaheim, California. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith RG
American League All-Star Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners runs out a batted ball in the first inning of the 2003 Major League All-Star Game, in Chicago July 15, 2003. Suzuki was out at first on the play. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine PJ/HB
Seattle Mariners centerfielder Ichiro Suzuki leaps to throw to second base after picking up what appeared to be a hit by New York Yankees batter Aaron Boone in the fourth inning August 10, 2003 at Yankee Stadium. The throw caught runner Jorge Posada for an out, denying Boone of a hit. The Mariners won 8-6. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine RFS
Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki of Japan falls to the ground while watching the ball bounce after Suzuki nearly caught a double hit deep to the outfield wall by Texas Rangers bater Herbert Perry during the fifth inning of their American League game at Safeco Field in Seattle on April 16, 2004. REUTERS/Anthony P. Bolante APB
Seattle Mariners Japanese player Ichiro Suzuki warms up before the game against the Anaheim Angels in Anaheim, California, September 20, 2004. Suzuki needs 22 hits in his last 13 games to break George Sisler's 84-year-old mark of 257 hits in a season. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson LN/SV
Seattle Mariners baseball star Ichiro Suzuki of Japan sets himself prior to getting his 261st base hit of the year, during third inning play against the Texas Rangers in Seattle, October 3, 2004. Ichiro finished the season with 262 base hits, surpassing the 84-year-old record of 257 held by George Sisler of the St. Louis Browns, set in 1920. He also set records with most hits in his first four seasons of Major League ball with 924 and most singles in one season with 225. REUTERS/Andy Clark AC
Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki reacts to a joke from a teammate during batting practice at the team's spring training camp in Peoria, Arizona, March 4, 2005. REUTERS/Jeff Topping jt
Seattle Mariners batter Ichiro Suzuki of Japan gets ready to face Florida Marlins pitcher Josh Beckett in Miami. Seattle Mariners batter Ichiro Suzuki of Japan gets ready to face Florida Marlins pitcher Josh Beckett in third inning play at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida, June 9, 2005. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki of Japan is interviewed by a member of the Japanese media before the 76th MLB All Star Game in Detroit. Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki (R) of Japan is interviewed by a member of the Japanese media before the 76th Major League Baseball All-Star Game In Detroit, Michigan, July 12, 2005. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Seattle Mariners batter Ichiro Suzuki misses a bunt attempt against the Toronto Blue Jays during the third inning of American League action in Toronto September 21, 2005. The Mariners defeated the Blue Jays 3-2. REUTERS/Mike Cassese MC/YH
Japanese rightfielder Ichiro Suzuki gives the thumbs up during practice for the World Baseball Classic final in San Diego, California, March 19, 2006. Japan will face Cuba in the final on March 20. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Japan's Ichiro Suzuki holds the championship trophy of the World Baseball Classic after winning the final against Cuba in San Diego, March 20, 2006. Japan won 10-6. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
American League All-Star Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki stretches in the outfield before the 77th annual All-Star baseball game in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania July 11, 2006. REUTERS/John Sommers (UNITED STATES)
Seattle Mariners centerfielder Ichiro Suzuki, of Japan, makes a catch on a flyball hit by San Francisco Giants Justin Leone during the second inning of an MLB baseball spring training game in Peoria, Arizona, March 7, 2007. REUTERS/Paul Connors (UNITED STATES)
Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki (C) celebrates in the dugout after scoring during the first inning of their American League baseball game against Tampa Bay Devil Rays in St. Petersburg, Florida May 24, 2007. Ichiro was playing in his 1000th Major League Baseball game. REUTERS/Scott Audette (UNITED STATES)
American League All-Star Ichiro Suzuki (R) of the Seattle Mariners is congratulated by Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees after Suzuki's inside-the-park home run in the fifth inning of Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in San Francisco, California, July 10, 2007. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES)
Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki smiles during a news conference announcing his five-year contract extension with the club in Seattle, Washington, July 13, 2007. REUTERS/Robert Sorbo (UNITED STATES)
Seattle Mariners center fielder Ichiro Suzuki misses catching a hit by New York Yankees batter Chad Moeller and two runs scored in the fifth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, May 23, 2008. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES)
American League all-star Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners' chases a fly ball during batting practice before the start of Major League Baseball's All-Star game at Yankee Stadium in New York July 15, 2008. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES)
Team Japan's Ichiro Suzuki (C) is sprayed with champagne by teammates in the locker room while celebrating their victory over Team Korea in the World Baseball Classic championship game in Los Angeles, California, March 23, 2009. REUTERS/Ted S. Warren/Pool (UNITED STATES SPORT BASEBALL)
Fans hold signs congratulating the Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki for his 2,000th career hit during the team's MLB American League baseball game against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland September 6, 2009. REUTERS/Kevin Bartram (UNITED STATES SPORT BASEBALL)
Seattle Mariners Ichiro Suzuki reacts after scoring the game-winning run against the Oakland Athletics during the ninth inning of their 2010 MLB season opening baseball game in Oakland, California April 5, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Seattle Mariners Ichiro Suzuki walks out of the batting cage during batting practice before their MLB American League baseball game against the New York Yankees in Seattle, Washington, July 10, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Sorbo (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki loses his balance as he chases a single by New York Yankees batter Derek Jeter in the third inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, June 29, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki puts on his sunglasses in the dugout as he prepares to play the Los Angeles Angels during their MLB American League baseball game in Anaheim, California July 15, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki waves to the sold out crowd at Safeco Field before he accepted his Gold Glove Award, prior to the start of the Mariners' MLB National League baseball season home opening game against the Cleveland Indians in Seattle April 8, 2011. REUTERS/Anthony Bolante (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
New York Yankees' Ichiro Suzuki speaks during a news conference before taking on the Boston Red Sox in their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, July 27, 2012. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
New York Yankees left fielder Ichiro Suzuki makes a leaping catch against the Oakland Athletics during the tenth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, September 22, 2012. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Ichiro Suzuki of the New York Yankees swings his bat during batting practice before Game 1 of the MLB ALCS playoff baseball series between the Detroit Tigers at the Yankee Stadium in New York, October 13, 2012. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
New York Yankees right fielder Ichiro Suzuki tips his cap to the crowd after he singled against the Toronto Blue Jays for his 4000th professional career hit in the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, August 21, 2013. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Japan's outfielder Ichiro Suzuki drinks a cup of Japanese green tea during a news conference to announce an agreement on a one-year contract with the Miami Marlins in Tokyo January 29, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Aug 11, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins left fielder Ichiro Suzuki (51) hits an rbi sacrifice fly in the seventh inning of a game against the Boston Red Sox at Marlins Park. The Marlins won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 24, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Fans cheer on as Miami Marlins pinch hitter Ichiro Suzuki (not pictured) steps into the batters box as during the seventh inning against the New York Mets at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 7, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; The center field sign at Coors Field after Miami Marlins center fielder Ichiro Suzuki (not pictured) hit his 3000 major league hit in the seventh inning of the game against the Colorado Rockies. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 18, 2017; Jupiter, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Ichiro Suzuki (51) poses during spring training media day at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Ichiro Suzuki, left, Seattle Mariners special assistant to the chairman, greets Mitch Haniger (17) at the plate after Haniger hit a walk-off home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the 13th inning of a baseball game, Friday, June 1, 2018, in Seattle. The Mariners won 4-3 in 13 innings. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki leans on his bat as he waits for his turn in the cage during batting practice Thursday, May 3, 2018, in Seattle. Suzuki was released Thursday by the Mariners and is shifting into a front office role with the team, but he said he will continue to take part in batting practice and follow the same pregame preparation routine he had as a player. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 17: Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners at bat in the top of 2nd innning during the game between the Yomiuri Giants and Seattle Mariners at Tokyo Dome on March 17, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
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Suzuki saw his numbers start to decline in 2011. Due to his late start, he was already 37 years old. During his eight seasons leading up to 2019, Suzuki hit .268/.310/.343. He hung around as a part-time player and pinch hitter well into his 40s.

Though Suzuki didn’t play in the majors until he was 27, he still managed to rack up over 3,000 hits in MLB. If you combine that with his hit totals from Japan, no professional baseball has more hits than Suzuki. He is, at the very least, baseball’s international hit king.

He was also a character. Throughout his 19-year career in the majors, Suzuki developed a reputation as one of the biggest personalities in the game. He became famous for his profane speeches before All-Star games, created his own inappropriate American expression in an interview with Bob Costas and casually dropped an expletive the first time he met Pedro Martinez. He loved swearing, apparently.

On the field, Suzuki dazzled before games with his outfield routine. He would play to the fans, regularly catching balls behind his back. He also impressed more than a few teammates with his power displays in batting practice. One of baseball’s biggest urban legends was that Suzuki could have won the Home Run Derby. That theory was never tested.

Now that Suzuki has retired, the countdown clock for his Hall of Fame induction can officially start. Since he played two games during the 2019 season, however, Suzuki won’t be eligible for induction until 2025.

When the time comes, Suzuki will coast into the Hall of Fame during his first season of eligibility. Considering his contributions to the game, he could join Mariano Rivera as a unanimous inductee.

Suzuki undoubtedly enhanced the baseball experience for fans, players and teams. His exit leaves a considerable hole in the sport, but his legacy ensures his presence will live on in the countless number of players he inspired along the way.

See more from the Japan series: 

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Mariners, A's play series in Japan
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Mariners, A's play series in Japan
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: Infielder Dee Gordon #9 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates scoring a run to make it 5-4 as Outfielder Domingo Santana #16 grounds into force out in the 12th inning during the game between Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 21, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: Pitcher Hunter Strickland #43 of the Seattle Mariners throws in the 12th inning during the game between Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 21, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: Pitcher Fernando Rodney #56 of the Oakland Athletics throws in the 12th inning during the game between Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 21, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners prepares at bat in the 8th inning during the game between Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 21, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners at bat in the 7th inning during the game between Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 21, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: Pitcher Yusei Kikuchi #18 of the Seattle Mariners reacts in the 4th inning during the game between Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 21, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: Fans cheer to Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners after grounding out in the 4th inning during the game between Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 21, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners catches a pop fly in the 4th inning during the game between Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 21, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Marco Estrada throws the ball against Seattle Mariners in the top of the first inning against Oakland Athletics at the Major League Baseball Japan Opening Series in Tokyo on March 21, 2019. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: Pitcher Yusei Kikuchi #18 of the Seattle Mariners throws in the 1st inning during the game between Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 21, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 21: Infielder Tim Beckham #1 of the Seattle Mariners throws to the first base in attempt to make a double play in the 2nd inning during the game between Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 21, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
Seattle Mariners Ryon Healy (2nd R) is greeted by teammate Tim Beckham (L, #1) following his two-run homer against Oakland Athletics in the top of the second inning at the Major League Baseball Japan Opening Series in Tokyo on March 21, 2019. (Photo by Quentin TYBERGHIEN / AFP) (Photo credit should read QUENTIN TYBERGHIEN/AFP/Getty Images)
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