Sweet 16 for Ichiro in win over ChiSox

Updated: March 27, 2005, 11:05 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Seattle Mariners: Ichiro Suzuki set a Seattle spring training record by getting a hit in his 16th straight game and drove in three runs to lead the Mariners to a 15-9 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

Suzuki had two hits in five at-bats and is hitting .518 (28-for-54). He broke Ken Griffey Jr.'s record from 1986.

"He's just amazing," Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. "I tried to get him to come out in the sixth (inning) but he wanted to stay in as he is taking a day off tomorrow."

Suzuki has struck out just once this spring.

Texas Rangers: Ryan Drese, not two-time All-Star Kenny Rogers, will be the Opening Day starter for the Rangers on April 5 at the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

"It fits better with our pitching staff," manager Buck Showalter told the Dallas Morning News. "It gives Kenny the opportunity to start the home opener and gives us the benefit of not pushing Kenny."

Rogers will start on April 6 and then pitch the April 11 home opener against the Angels.

In 34 games last year, Drese was 14-10 with a 4.20 ERA. Rogers was 18-9 in 35 games with a 4.76 ERA.

"It will be cool," Drese told the Star-Telegram. "But like I said before, it's just as important to pitch the second game, third game, fourth game or fifth game.

"I just want the ball. Kenny is still going be there every fifth day. He's still the veteran of the staff and the … leader."

Minnesota Twins: The club trimmed its roster to 33 players Sunday, optioning outfielder Michael Ryan to Triple-A Rochester of the International League, reassigning outfielder Armando Rios to minor league camp and releasing infielders Andy Fox and Eric Munson.

Ryan had only one option left on his contract, so this is the last time he can be sent down to the minor leagues. One of the outfielders he was battling in spring training, Michael Restovich, is out of options, so if he doesn't make the final 25-man roster he will have to be released or traded.

With six days left in spring training, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and general manager Terry Ryan still have a few tough decisions to make.

Left-handed reliever C.J. Nitkowski appears to have a significant edge over Matt Guerrier and Willie Eyre for that last spot in the bullpen.

Joe Mauer, Mike Redmond and Matthew LeCroy are entrenched at the catcher position, meaning Corky Miller and Chris Heintz are likely to be among the next round of cuts.

Chicago Cubs: Manager Dusty Baker says Kerry Wood will pitch Wednesday against Colorado instead of Tuesday against Milwaukee.

He threw 63 pitches in a simulated game on Friday, and pitching coach Larry Rothschild says he wants Wood to get four days' rest after the game.

Wood is recovering from bursitis in his right shoulder. Rothschild added that Wood is still in line to pitch the Cubs' home opener on April 8th against Milwaukee.

The Cubs also say pitcher Mark Prior will pitch a simulated game tomorrow.

Prior hasn't pitched in a Cactus League game since his spring debut on March 10 because of inflammation in his elbow and around his ulnar nerve.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Prior might miss the start of the season, adding that Cubs officials hope he'll start on April 12. Baker said he's "tired of reports" but conceded that Prior's return is in doubt.

"There's a possibility," he told the newspaper. "I don't have a crystal ball. If he's not ready, we're not going to force him out there."

Philadelphia Phillies: Jim Thome took batting practice and could return to the lineup Monday after missing the last five games with a lower back strain.

Right-handed pitcher Vicente Padilla will pitch in a Class-A game Monday. He's been sidelined with triceps tendinitis all spring.

The Phillies reduced their roster to 32 by reassigning LHP Mike Bacsik, INF Anthony Medrano and C Trent Pratt to minor league camp.

New York Yankees: Reserve infielder Rey Sanchez's thumb reportedly received a clean bill of health after an MRI.

Manager Joe Torre told Newsday that Sanchez isn't in danger of starting the season on the disabled list.

"It seems to be getting better," Torre told the newspaper.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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