DETROIT -- Ichiro Suzuki tied a franchise record by logging a hit in 12 straight games to begin his Yankees career, a streak that ended after four at-bats -- including three ugly strikeouts -- as New York's designated hitter on Monday night against the Tigers. The veteran outfielder hadn't struck out in any of his previous 49 plate appearances since being traded to the Yankees on July 23.
Ichiro took his first turn as the Yankees' DH as the club opened a three-game series at Comerica Park with a 7-2 loss to Justin Verlander and the Tigers, stepping into the role with Raul Ibanez playing left field and Nick Swisher manning right field.
"I just thought today was a good day to DH him and see what we can do [on Tuesday] because we're in the midst of 20 [games] in a row," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We're going to go on turf for a few days [in Toronto] as well, so we've got to be careful."
Ichiro, who served as the DH twice this year with Seattle, equaled a mark set by catcher Don Slaught in 1988. Slaught also had hits in his first 12 games after being acquired by the Yankees from the Rangers prior to that season.
Ichiro has yet to post his first multihit game with his new club. His 12 straight games with one hit set a club record; according to the Elias Sports Bureau, it is the longest streak of its kind since Willy Aybar had one hit in 13 straight games for the Angels in 2006.
"I think he's done a really good job," Girardi said. "I didn't think coming to New York would bother him because he's had so much to deal with."