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Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki closes in on 4,000 hits

NEW YORK — New York Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is closing in on what Angels Manager Mike Scioscia calls an “incredible” achievement, a combined 4,000 hits in the U.S. and Japan.

Suzuki, who is not in Tuesday night’s lineup against Angels left-hander Jason Vargas, has 2,716 hits in the major leagues and 1,278 in Japan’s Pacific League. He needs six hits to reach the 4,000 plateau, a figure achieved by only Pete Rose (4,256) and Ty Cobb (4,191).

Suzuiki, 39, played his first 11 1/2 years in the U.S. in Seattle and had 206 hits or more in each of his first 10 seasons. A 10-time All-Star, he was the American League most valuable player and rookie of the year in 2001. He has a career .301 average with 275 hits in 214 games against the Angels.

“Of the few things you can really count on in this game, Ichiro getting 200 hits a season is one of them,” Scioscia said. “It’s almost like when Pete Rose was on that long streak.

“He’s still running well, putting the ball in play and getting his hits. I can’t really say it’s been fun to watch because a lot of them were at our expense, but there’s no doubt he’s a special player and a Hall of Famer.”

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