Ichiro ties, passes Rice, now 14 hits from 3,000

Ichiro ties, passes Rice, now 14 hits from 3,000

DETROIT -- With two singles on Tuesday night in the Marlins' 7-5 loss to the Tigers, Ichiro Suzuki moved past Sam Rice and into sole possession of 30th place on MLB's all-time hits list, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Now at 2,986 hits, the next major milestone for Ichiro is the magical No. 3,000.

In the sixth inning, Ichiro ripped a single to right off Mike Pelfrey, and he lined a single to center off Shane Greene in the eighth.

With the Marlins playing a two-game Interleague series in Detroit, Ichiro got the start in right field in place of Giancarlo Stanton, who was used as the designated hitter. Leading off for the Marlins, Ichiro went 2-for-4 with a walk.

Ichiro's 2,985th career hit

"He's been fun to watch," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said before the game. "He's been kind of ageless. We shouldn't really be talking about his age because he runs better than most, he throws and plays defense better than most. He's been swinging the bat better than most. Everything about him has been way above average."

No other player stands in Ichiro's path to 3,000 hits. The 42-year-old is aiming to become the 30th MLB player to reach the milestone.

Baseball has a longstanding history of disputes over numbers, and the career hits leaderboard is one of them. Due to the uncertain nature of record keeping in the 19th century and early part of the 20th century, there are some discrepancies regarding Rice's overall numbers. Various sources used to comprise MLB.com's entire database, which lists Rice with 2,987 career hits, reflect alternative and also credible points of view.

Ichiro broke into the big leagues at age 27 after playing nine seasons with the Orix Blue Wave of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, where he compiled 1,278 hits.

On June 15 in San Diego, Ichiro collected his 4,257th combined hit, counting big league and Japanese totals. Pete Rose holds the MLB record with 4,256 hits.

MLB doesn't recognize combined marks.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.