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Sizzling Ichiro Suzuki powers Yankees in opening win

Ichiro Suzuki isn’t quite as hot as his right field counterpart in this series, Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig. But Suzuki is on a terrific run himself.

“At the plate, in the field,” Yankees catcher Chris Stewart said of Suzuki’s performance in yesterday’s 6-4 Game 1

Yankees victory in The Bronx. “[He] did it all.”

Suzuki ranked as the Yankees’ best player in the early game. He racked up three hits, drilled a solo homer, slapped a two-run single and robbed Adrian Gonzalez of extra bases with a magnificent leaping catch.

Although he went 0-for-3 in the 6-0 nightcap loss, Suzuki is raking in his last seven games, batting .400 (10-for-25) and collecting four multi-hit games. For the season, the 39-year-old still has just a .665 OPS — well below league average. But this has been a welcome surge.

“I haven’t changed anything,” he said. “I haven’t done anything different.”

The Yankees’ offense is an injury-ravaged disaster, so a Suzuki spurt would be enormous.

“He has the ability, as we’ve talked about, to get really, really hot,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said yesterday.

After arriving in a trade from Seattle last July, Suzuki posted just a .714 OPS in his first 51 games with the team. But in the remaining 16 games of the regular season, he exploded, delivering a staggering .969 OPS.

Asked yesterday whether he could sense if he’s about to embark on a hot streak, Suzuki replied, “I have no idea. Maybe you could ask a fortune teller.”

Suzuki was out-dazzled yesterday by Puig, the remarkable Cuban rookie who produced four hits, a homer, a bunt single and a stolen base, ran the bases as if he were Rickey Henderson and nearly threw out Thomas Neal at first base on a single — from right field.

But Suzuki did his part to match in the opener. He singled and scored a run in the second inning, then smacked a fastball from Hyun-Jin Ryu over the right-field wall in the sixth for a 3-0 Yankees lead — his first homer in 116 at-bats.

Suzuki dumped a bases-loaded two-run single to left in the seventh inning to make it 6-2. And in the eighth, he leaped at the wall to snare Gonzalez’s drive, slamming into the fence and handing the Yankees a big out.

“He was huge today,” Lyle Overbay said.

The strong stretch continues for the formerly struggling former star. Suzuki is scorching.

via Sizzling Suzuki powers Yankees in opening win –


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