Mariners-Angels: Griffey, Ichiro Electrify Safeco Crowd with Milestone Night

Chris DiFrancescoAnalyst IApril 16, 2009

What did you expect on Jackie Robinson day in baseball? I bet when you thought about it, you didn't say Ken Griffey Jr. was going to provide us with his sweet swing for his 400th career home run as a Mariner. Furthermore, you did not expect the returning Japanese phenom Ichiro to smack a grand slam in his comeback game.

If thats what you predicted, then you should be on a 747 straight to Vegas to place bets and i'll be happy to take a percentage of your innings.

Last night at Safeco Field, the 19,000 fans that paid to watch their first place Mariners received a treat. A lot of hitting and stellar pitching contributed to the finished product of an 11-3 drubbing of the Angels.

It was the Mariners' sixth straight victory, and their 7-2 record matches the best start in franchise history. The 2001 team had the same record after nine games. If anyone remember that '01 team, they won 116 games.

it was milestone central last night in Seattle. Junior's blast in the fifth to right-center was his second of the season, first in Seattle since 1999, and his 400th as a Mariner. But more importantly, Griffey became the first player in MLB history to have 400 home runs with one team, and 200 with another. 

"It's a lot of fun when you win. To be able to go out there and perform and have fun and win, there's nothing better. ...We've been able to do some little things to win games, and we've done some big things, too."

Alongside Junior's heroics, Ichiro added his own mix of personal history. Ichiro matched the record for most hits by a Japanese player with a grand slam in the seventh inning, his 3,085th professional hit.

"I definitely didn't think grand slam, but a lot of times when I have records on the line, I have had a tendency to hit home runs in those situations," Ichiro said after the game.

"For me, to hit a home run on the same day Junior hit an historical home run for him is special for me," Ichiro said. "But not only that was special, but probably the two lightest guys in baseball hit home runs together, me and Endy Chavez. That is very special to me as well."

The Mariners won their fifth- straight to continue their early season dominance in the AL West, they are now 7-2. Tonight they look to sweep the series when Chris Jacubauskas wil get his first MLB start tonight.


Quotes: Seattle Times