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Ichiro Suzuki stands at first base after connecting for his 4,000th career hit Wednesday.

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Ichiro Suzuki stands at first base after connecting for his 4,000th career hit Wednesday. (KATHY WILLENS / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Ichiro reaches 4,000-hit milestone against Jays

NEW YORK -- Ichiro Suzuki slashed a single the opposite way with his unique swing for the 4,000th hit of a career split between Japan and the major leagues.

The 39-year-old Suzuki hit a liner off Toronto's R.A. Dickey that bounced just beyond diving third baseman Brett Lawrie in the first inning Wednesday night for the milestone hit.

Suzuki broke a tie with Lou Gehrig when he got his 2,722nd major league hit in his 13th season. The speedy outfielder amassed 1,278 hits in nine seasons with Orix of Japan's Pacific League.

Suzuki's Yankees teammates streamed out of the dugout and surrounded him at first base, Curtis Granderson giving him the first hug. A grinning Suzuki then faced the cheering fans and bowed.

When he went to his position in right field for the second inning, Suzuki tipped his cap to the fans who greeted him with a standing ovation.

Ken Griffey Jr., a former teammate with the Seattle Mariners, congratulated Suzuki with a message shown on the video board at Yankee Stadium.

The Mariners tweeted a statement: "Ichiro's historic milestone is testament to his position as one of the greatest hitters in the game of baseball."

Pete Rose with 4,256 hits and Ty Cobb with 4,191 are the only two players that have reached the number solely in the major leagues.

According to STATS, Suzuki has the most hits through the first 13 seasons of a big league career. Paul Waner is second. Waner had 2,648 for Pittsburgh from 1926-38.

 

MacDonald vs. Lawler

CANADIAN welterweight contender Rory (Ares) MacDonald will fight hard-nosed veteran (Ruthless) Robbie Lawler at UFC 167 on Nov. 16 in Las Vegas.

In the previously announced main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre of Montreal meets No. 1 contender Johny (Bigg Rigg) Hendricks.

The UFC bills the Lawler-MacDonald matchup as "old school meets the new breed." The 24-year-old MacDonald is ranked third among 170-pound contenders while the 31-year-old Lawler is No. 9.

MacDonald (15-1) is coming off a decision over Jake (The Juggernaut) Ellenberger that stretched his winning streak to five.

But the Seattle bout was booed by the crowd for lack of action and UFC president Dana White made no secret of his dissatisfaction at both fighters.

Some saw the win as a technical triumph by MacDonald, who used distance, a stinging jab and front kicks to keep the hard-hitting Ellenberger at distance. But not the UFC boss.

"That fight sucked so bad," said White.

 

John Herdman

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John Herdman (CP)

Herdman might jump ship

JOHN HERDMAN says he's happy as head coach of the Canadian women's soccer team, but would listen if approached about taking the vacant England job.

The women's team has had considerable success since Herdman joined the team in 2011. Canada won bronze at the 2012 London Olympics and gold at the 2011 Pan American Games.

Herdman told Sportsnet he's focused on preparing his team as Canada hosts the 2015 World Cup, but added that if England came calling, he'd have to listen.

England is in need of someone to lead its women's team after longtime coach Hope Powell was fired Tuesday.

"I'm going to keep doing what I do and if the English FA ring me up, it's my homeland, and if they say 'we need your help' I'm going to consider that," Herdman said.

"But at the end of the day I have a big job here with some exciting players and an exciting opportunity in Canada."

The Canadian Soccer Association said Wednesday that Herdman was not available for comment.

 

Ravens-Colts swap

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens acquired running back Delone Carter from the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday in a trade for wide receiver David Reed.

The deal involves two players who have seen limited playing time in the NFL.

Reed, 26, has five career receptions for 66 yards over three years. All five catches came last year. To this point in his career, his biggest plays have come on special teams.

As a rookie in 2010, he led the NFL by averaging 29.3 yards per kickoff return. That included a 103-yard return for a touchdown to open the second half at Houston.

 

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 22, 2013 D6

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