Ichiro eyes franchise milestone

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 11:11 AM ET

Ichiro Suzuki could become Seattle's all-time hits leader this evening when the Mariners continue their season-opening three-game series against the Oakland Athletics at the Coliseum.

Suzuki had two hits in Seattle's 6-2 win on Friday, moving him within one of Edgar Martinez's franchise record of 2,247. Amazingly, Martinez needed 18 years and 2,055 games to get to that total, while Suzuki is entering his 11th season and will be playing in his 1,590th game tonight.

After losing an American League-high 101 games in 2010, the Mariners got their season off on the right foot on Friday, as AL Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez (1-0) went the distance for the 14th time in his career and Seattle took advantage of five Oakland errors to pull out an Opening Day win.

"Like I've said, I think we're going to score more runs this year," said Hernandez. "Look at tonight. We're going to be better."

Trevor Cahill gave up just one run on four hits over 4 2/3 innings with four walks and eight strikeouts for the Athletics, while Josh Willingham provided the offense with a two-run homer. Craig Breslow (0-1) was tagged with the loss as he gave up three runs -- two earned -- on three hits in two-thirds of an inning.

Heading to the hill for the Mariners tonight will be left-hander Jason Vargas, who was 9-12 a year ago with a 3.78 ERA. The 28-year-old enjoys the spacious surroundings of pitcher-friendly Safeco Field, where he went 7-5 with a 2.86 ERA in 16 starts, but slumped to a 2-7 ledger and a 4.85 ERA on the road.

Vargas, who split two starts to the A's last season, has also lost his last seven decisions since beating Cleveland back on August 14.

Oakland, meanwhile, pins its hopes tonight on a young lefty of their own in 23-year-old Brett Anderson. Injuries caused Anderson to make just 19 starts last season, but he went 7-6 with a 2.80 ERA. Expectations are high, though, for Anderson, who ended the year by going 4-0 over his final six starts with a2.18 ERA.

Oakland was 13-6 last season against the Mariners.


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