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M's Ichiro hits his way into record books

Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki tips his hat to the crowd after breaking the single season hits mark on Friday.
Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki tips his hat to the crowd after breaking the single season hits mark on Friday.
Jim Bryant, Associated Press

SEATTLE — Ichiro Suzuki set the major league record for hits in a season with 258, breaking George Sisler's 84-year-old mark with a pair of singles Friday night.

The Seattle star chopped a leadoff single in the first inning, then made history with a grounder up the middle in the third.

Fireworks went off after the ball reached the outfield, creating a haze over Safeco Field, and Suzuki's teammates mobbed him at first base. The crowd gave him a standing ovation, and Texas first baseman Mark Teixeira shook the Japanese outfielder's hand.

With the fans still cheering, Suzuki ran over to the first-base seats and shook hands with Sisler's 81-year-old daughter, Frances Sisler Drochelman, and other members of the Hall of Famer's family.

Sisler set the mark in 1920 with the St. Louis Browns over a 154-game schedule. Suzuki broke it in the Mariners' 160th game of the year.

Both hits came off Ryan Drese, making Suzuki 10-for-20 lifetime against him.

The Rangers righty ran the count full in the third, and Suzuki hit a bouncer up the middle, out of the reach of shortstop Michael Young.

As the ball rolled into center field, the Mariners began to empty their dugout and come out to congratulate Suzuki.

Moments after Suzuki's 258th hit, he scored his 100th run of the season. The Mariners batted around in the third inning, and Suzuki hit a long fly that Laynce Nix caught on the run for the third out.

BLUE JAYS 7, YANKEES 0: At Toronto, David Bush pitched a two-hitter for the first complete game of his major league career, and Toronto beat Orlando Hernandez and the Yankees.

Hernandez (8-2), pushed back three days in the rotation because of a tired shoulder, lost his second straight start, allowing five runs, five hits and three walks in three innings as he repeatedly threw soft pitches. El Duque, who left after 63 pitches, is on track to pitch Game 3 of the playoffs next Friday.

A day after clinching their seventh straight AL East title, the Yankees started just one regular, Hideki Matsui. He has started every game this season, extending his streak of consecutive games played to 322. Before he joined New York, he played in 1,573 consecutive games for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan's Central League.

Jason Giambi went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts, dropping to 3-for-25 (.120) since he was activated from the disabled list. Before the game, manager Joe Torre said it would be a "long shot" that Giambi would be left off the postseason roster.

DEVIL RAYS 4, TIGERS 1: At Detroit, for the first time in their history, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays won't finish last. Rob Bell came within an out of his first career shutout before Ivan Rodriguez doubled for his 1,000th career RBI, and the Devil Rays beat Detroit Friday to clinch fourth place in the AL East.

Tampa Bay, which began play in 1998, improved to 69-90 and cannot be overtaken by last-place Toronto, which began the night at 65-93. The Devil Rays, playing their second season under manager Lou Piniella, need one victory in their final two games to reach 70 for the first time.

Bell (8-8) pitched a four-hitter for his second complete game in 105 major league starts.

RED SOX 8, ORIOLES 3: At Baltimore, Tim Wakefield allowed two runs in six innings for his first victory since August, and Johnny Damon and David Ortiz homered to power Boston past Baltimore. Boston trailed 2-1 before rallying against the Baltimore bullpen for two runs in the seventh inning, and five in the ninth. The victory enabled the Red Sox to reach 96 wins for the first time since 1978. Meanwhile, the Orioles (77-82) clinched a seventh straight losing season. Wakefield (12-10) was 0-3 in five starts since Aug. 29, but the knuckleballer tuned up for the postseason by dispatching a Baltimore team that had won seven of eight.

WHITE SOX 4, ROYALS 2: At Kansas City, Mo., Jon Garland pitched six solid innings, and the Chicago White Sox clinched second place in the AL Central with a 4-2 win over the reeling Kansas City Royals. Garland (12-11) allowed two runs and five hits with three strikeouts and three walks to lead the White Sox to their eighth win in 11 games. He raised his career record against Kansas City to 10-4.

The White Sox improved to 82-78, three games ahead of third-place Cleveland with two to play. The Royals have lost seven in a row and a franchise-record 103 for the year.

TWINS 4, INDIANS 3: At Minneapolis, Corey Koskie homered and hit a go-ahead two-run single in the eighth inning, lifting Minnesota over Cleveland. The AL Central champion Twins can still begin the playoffs at home. If they beat the Indians Saturday and Sunday, and Anaheim and Oakland avoid a sweep in their three-game series this weekend, Minnesota would host Boston in Game 1 of the division series on Tuesday. If not, the Twins would open at the New York Yankees.

Ronnie Belliard went 3-for-4 with a home run, and Coco Crisp was 2-for-3 with an RBI for Cleveland (79-81) — which missed a chance at its first winning season since 2001. The Indians were 68-94 last year.