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A hit record for Seattle's Suzuki

Sisler's standard falls by wayside

SEATTLE -- No. 258 for Ichiro Suzuki was like so many others, a little ground ball up the middle.

Only this one made history, a hit cheered 'round the world.

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

The Seattle star chopped a leadoff single in the first inning, then put himself in the record book with a bouncer in the third.

Fireworks exploded after Suzuki's big hit reached the outfield, creating a haze over Safeco Field, and his teammates mobbed him at first base.

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.

"My father would have been delighted," Drochelman said moments later.

"Through my career, I think this is the best moment," Suzuki said through an interpreter after Seattle's 8-3 win. "I can't really put it into words."

Suzuki later got another hit, giving him 259 and a major league-leading .373 average.

Across the Pacific, fans in downtown Tokyo watched Suzuki in sports bars. "Baseball is America's sport, so for a Japanese player to go over there and break that record is truly amazing," office worker Shigeru Uchida said.

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.

The two early hits came off Ryan Drese, making Suzuki 10 for 20 lifetime against him.

Suzuki's first-inning single was his 919th hit in the majors, breaking the record for most hits over a four-year span. Bill Terry of the New York Giants set the previous record of 918 hits from 1929-32.

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