KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki matched Willie Keeler's major league record of eight straight 200-hit seasons Wednesday night, beating out on infield single in the eighth inning for his third hit against Kansas City.
The Japanese star came into the game three hits short of the record set by Keeler from 1894-1901. After walking to lead off the game, he hit a double just inside first base in the third and had a bloop single over third in the fifth.
Suzuki matched Keeler in the eighth when he hit a ground ball up the middle then beat shortstop Mike Aviles' throw by a half-step.
"It has been roughly 100 years since Wee Willie Keeler -- in normal circumstances, there's no way I would associate with somebody that is that far apart from me," Suzuki said through an interpreter. "But thanks to something like this, I have the opportunity to be associated with him and cross paths with him. That's something that makes me very happy."
Suzuki reached 200 hits in 151 games this season after doing it in 136 a year ago. Shortly after beating Aviles' throw, the PA announcer told the crowd of the accomplishment, leading to a standing ovation from the Kansas City crowd. It was a similar response he received in Texas earlier this year, when he reached 3,000 combined hits in the majors and Japanese League
"Each time something like this happens, at first I think the game will keep flowing around," he said. "So when it [the ovation] actually happens, I'm surprised and I'm very happy and very thankful. When something like this happens, the locations become special places for me."