Now Commenting On:

Mariners use Ichiro as designated hitter

Mariners use Ichiro as designated hitter

ARLINGTON -- The Mariners played their first game of the season without Ichiro Suzuki in right field on Thursday night, but he was in the lineup as the designated hitter.

"He wants to play every day, but the last couple of weeks we have talked about when we were going to [use him in the DH role], if we could do it, and we need to do it right now to rest his legs," manager Don Wakamatsu said.

The Rangers have handled Ichiro unusually well in this series, limiting him to one hit in 11 at-bats in the first three games of the four-game set.

"I ask him constantly [if he needs a breather], but he would never tell me he needed a day off," Wakamatsu said. "But with the long games, the heat and everything else, now is the time to do it."

Thursday night was the 26th time in his 1,486-game career with the Mariners that Ichiro was used as the DH. He entered the game with a .387 average in that role, going 41-for-106 with three home runs and 12 RBIs.

Ryan Langerhans got his first start in right field and was placed in the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Milton Bradley, the No. 2 hitter in the first three games of the series, got the night off.

"We could have moved Josh [Wilson] up there," Wakamatsu said. "Josh is swinging the bat more like [someone in] the cleanup spot. And Ryan is a patient hitter who can do some things in the two-hole -- bunt and get on base."

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español