With these two pieces of information as the backdrop, it seems rather odd that on a night when the Mariners tallied 20-plus hits for only the 27th time in their 36-year history, Ichiro was not in the lineup, missing his first game of the year.
In their 21-8 win over the Rangers on Wednesday, the Mariners collected 20 hits -- their most since Sept. 1, 2008 -- and became the first team this season to reach 20 runs. They entered the game 22nd in the Majors in runs scored and are now ranked 14th.
The 21 runs matched Seattle's second-best tally in franchise history, and marked only the third time in history the Mariners had reached that number. They defeated the Tigers, 22-6, on April 29, 1999, and they beat the Angels, 21-9, on Sept. 30, 2000.
Seattle had four players -- Kyle Seager, Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders -- collect at least three hits, with Seager leading the way with four. The club record for most players with at least three hits is five, accomplished five times.
Smoak enjoyed his first career multihomer game and established a new career high with six RBIs. Before Smoak, the most recent Mariners first baseman to have a two-homer, six-RBI day was John Olerud on Aug. 2, 2003. In that game against the White Sox, Olerud hit two home runs and drove in seven.
The Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez went 4-for-5 with three home runs in a 13-5 win over the Astros, becoming the fifth player this season to hit at least three and the 13th player in Colorado history to achieve the feat.
Gonzalez is the second Rockies player in as many years to homer thrice in a ballgame, joining Jason Giambi. Before Giambi's three-homer game, the franchise hadn't had one since 2004.
Gonzalez has four multihomer games this season -- the most in the Majors. Before Gonzalez, the only Rockies player to have four within the team's first 49 games had been Todd Helton in 2000. Gonzalez is the first player since Derrek Lee in '05 to have four within his team's first 49 games.
A.J. Burnett allowed two hits and a run in seven innings, and Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati, 2-1.
The Pirates have 19 games this season in which they have allowed no more two runs. Those 19 tie them with the Angels and White Sox for the fourth most in the Majors. The Nationals have 22, and are followed by the Dodgers (21) and Phillies (20).
Wednesday's game also marked the 24th time this season the Pirates scored no more than two runs in a game, which is the highest total for any team in the big leagues.
The Marlins defeated the Nationals, 5-3, to conclude their May schedule with a 21-8 record. Besides setting a new franchise record for victories in a month, Miami posted the most victories in May for any National League team since the 2005 Padres went 22-6.
Giancarlo Stanton hit his 12th home run in May to tie the Marlins' franchise record for the most homers in any single month. In May 2008, Dan Uggla also hit 12.
Stanton, playing in his age-22 season, has 69 career home runs. With four months still remaining in this age-22 season, Stanton's 69 ties him with Jose Canseco and Ruben Sierra for the 20th most in history. If Stanton hits another 20 home runs this season, his total of 89 would give him the eighth most in history, between the 91 from Bob Horner and Ted Williams and the 87 compiled by Johnny Bench and Ken Griffey, Jr.
Here and there
The Royals beat the Indians, 6-3, giving Bruce Chen his fourth win of the year. Since Kansas City ran its losing streak to 12 games on April 24, it has gone 18-14 for the third-best winning percentage (.563) in the American League.
The White Sox won their eighth straight game, beating the Rays, 4-3. Since 2005, this eight-game win streak marks the ninth time the club has won at least eight in a row. Those nine over this span are the most for any team in the Majors.
Boston's Will Middlebrooks hit his sixth home run, giving him 13 extra-base hits through his first 24 career games. For the Red Sox since 1918, those 13 through a player's first 24 games are the fourth-highest total, behind George Scott's 16, Bob Tillman's 14 and Sam Horn's 14.
Atlanta's Brian McCann drove in four runs in the Braves' 10-7 victory over the Cardinals. Since 2005 (his first season), McCann has 27 games in which he has collected four RBIs as a catcher. Those 27 are the most in the Majors over that span, with Ramon Hernandez having the second most, with 15.
The Angels' Mark Trumbo homered in his fourth consecutive game, moving him to within one of tying the franchise record. Bobby Bonds homered in five straight games for the Halos in 1977. Trumbo is the 11th Angels player to homer in exactly four straight in a season, and the first to do it since Mo Vaughn in '99.
San Francisco's Melky Cabrera went 1-for-4 to finish May with 51 hits. With the hit, Cabrera tied Randy Winn (September 2005) for the most hits by a Giants player in any single month since 1958. Cabrera is the third player in the past 50 seasons to have at least 51 hits in May, joining Billy Williams ('64) and Carney Lansford ('88).
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.