ST. LOUIS (CBSMiami/AP) — The Miami Marlins had something to cheer about on Saturday in a season that has provided few opportunities to do just that.
It was inevitable that Ichiro Suzuki would unofficially pass Ty Cobb. The standing ovation on the road was more than he’d anticipated.
“They’re high-class fans and I knew that coming in,” Suzuki said through an interpreter after getting his 4,192nd and 4,193rd hits in the Miami Marlins’ 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night.
“Obviously, I had to focus on play. But obviously, I was moved.”
The 41-year-old Suzuki knows his baseball history and referenced former St. Louis Browns great George Sisler, who set the major league record with 257 hits in 1920.
“His grave is here, and so it definitely became a special place for me tonight,” Suzuki added.
Suzuki also paid tribute to Cobb, whose 4,191 hits rank second in major league history. On a trip to the Hall of Fame, Suzuki said he touched Cobb’s bat and “read some of the letters he wrote.”
“Now, I want to go back to the Hall of Fame and be able to get to know him more and maybe look at more of his stuff,” Suzuki added.
Suzuki has 2,915 hits in the majors, 38th on the career list, to go with 1,278 hits in nine seasons for the Orix Blue Wave in Japan. He’s not worried about those who might downgrade his pre-majors deeds.
“I think that’s for people to decide and for people to talk about and decide for themselves,” Suzuki said. “There’s nothing really I can do.”
John Lackey (10-7) was dominant into the ninth inning and gave the Cardinals an unexpected bonus with two hits and an RBI.
Mark Reynolds’ three-run home run on a 3-0 pitch from Brad Hand (2-3) in the sixth put the first-place Cardinals ahead by four and Randal Grichuk hit his 15th homer in the first. Rookie Stephen Piscotty had three hits and scored twice, helping the Cardinals win their eighth out of 10.
Lackey allowed two runs on nine hits in 8 1-3 innings to reach double figures in victories for the 12th time in 13 seasons — the exception being 2012, which was lost to injury. He has been especially good at home, going 8-3 with a 1.91 ERA.
Hand (2-3) allowed six runs on 11 hits in six innings, hurt most by the pitch to Reynolds that had too much of the plate.
“You’ve always got to anticipate he’s going to swing at 3-0,” Hand said. “A one-run ballgame, maybe he’s trying to hit the ball out of the ballpark right there.”
Lackey balked home a run in the second but got it back in the bottom half with a two-out broken-bat single for his second RBI of the season. He then added a single in the fourth. The right-hander entered batting just .073 with three hits in 41 at-bats.
Justin Bour ended a 30-game homer drought for the Marlins, who are 0-5 against St. Louis this season and will try to avoid a three-game sweep on Sunday.
The Cardinals are a season-high 34 games above .500 and improved their home record to 44-17.
Hand worked seven innings of two-hit ball at Atlanta in his last start and had allowed one run in 11 innings his first two starts since rejoining the rotation.
Marlins: Christian Yelich (knee bruise) was placed on the 15-day DL. Marcell Ozuna was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans and batted fifth, singling his first trip.
David Phelps (4-8, 4.35) is 3 1-3 innings shy of his career high of 113 with the Yankees last year and starts on 10 days’ rest. The Cardinals are 18-3 when Carlos Martinez (12-4) gets the nod.
The Cardinals inducted Bob Forsch, Curt Flood, George Kissell and Ted Simmons into the team’s Hall of Fame in a ceremony earlier in the day. All but Simmons, now a scout for the Marlins, were inducted posthumously. “They do it up right and it’s real,” Simmons said. “They want fans and the inductees to know that this is a big deal and when those inductees go in, put that jacket on, you realize what’s happening. This is not small potatoes.”
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