Ichiro Suzuki racked up four hits -- including an RBI single in the 11th inning -- as Seattle's right fielder had a homecoming to remember in a 3-1 victory for the Mariners in the first game of the Japan Opening Series with the A's on Wednesday.
Second baseman Dustin Ackley drove in Seattle's other two runs with a home run in the fourth and the go-ahead single in the 11th, while Felix Hernandez pitched eight innings of one-run ball.
"More than the four hits, it was more being able to enjoy the atmosphere with the fans," Ichiro said through interpreter Antony Suzuki in the cramped Tokyo Dome visitors' clubhouse. "Being there with the same feelings, that was special to me. That's what will stay in my heart."
The Mariners received much of the Tokyo Dome support despite the A's playing as the "home team" in this two-game set, thanks in large part to Ichiro's presence. But the 12-year MLB veteran was pleased the crowd of 44,227 provided strong support for all the players in their first experience with Japanese fans.
"Seeing how they welcomed the players, they were very warm-hearted," Ichiro said. "That makes you cry."
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