In what could have been his final at-bat at Safeco Field, longtime Mariners and current Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki hit a home run in the ninth inning of a 10-5 loss in Seattle on Wednesday.
The solo shot came on the first pitch of the ninth inning off Mariners reliever Evan Marshall. Suzuki got the start in right field and had two hits.
"It was my last at-bat, obviously, and the last chance. With the game the way it was going, that's what I wanted to hit, right there,'' Suzuki said through an interpreter, while also indicating he hoped to have another trip to Seattle in the future. "Saw the ball go over the fence and I have to pinch myself to make sure that really happened. I feel grateful that happened.''
Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, who congratulated Ichiro as he rounded the bases, said: "You don't want to see your opponent hit a home run, but at that moment, that was pretty special. I had chills for him."
It was the first homer at Safeco as a visiting player for the 43-year-old Ichiro, who last went deep there April 18, 2012. And it could be the final time Suzuki appears at Safeco, the stadium he called home for the first 11½ seasons of his MLB career, unless he changes teams or the Marlins and Mariners meet in the World Series.
According to ESPN's Jim Caple, the fan who caught the home run ball gave it to Ichiro in exchange for an autographed bat.
The home run came on the same day the Mariners were honoring Suzuki with a unique collectible during the interleague series finale. Dubbed the "Ichiro Dual Bobblehead,'' the statue portrayed two Suzukis, one in a Mariners uniform and one as a Marlin.
The Seattle Suzuki honored the 2004 season when he set the record for most hits in one season with 262. The Miami half recognized Suzuki's 3,000th hit last season with the Marlins.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.