AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
DETROIT: Seattle's Japanese star Ichiro Suzuki was left out of the Mariners' starting lineup for game at Detroit, ending his streak of consecutive Major League Baseball starts at 255.
Manager Eric Wedge on Friday said he wanted to give the slumping outfielder the night off.
"He's been playing baseball for a long time," Wedge said before the game. "He's mentally tough, he's physically tough. He has so many different things that are reasons for the fact that he has been so successful, but ultimately, he's a human being, and everybody needs a break every now and again."
Ichiro, 37, has hit just 13-for-87 since May 19 and his batting average has fallen to .252 -- the lowest it has ever been at this point in the season in his 11 Major League seasons.
Wedge said it would be a one-day break, just to give Ichiro a breather.
Ichiro declined to comment on the move.
Since joining the Mariners, Ichiro has played in 1,651 of the 1,683 possible games, starting 1,635 of those.
His 255 consecutive starts streak is third-longest in Mariners history.
The last time Ichiro didn't start was August 31, 2009, when he was experiencing a hamstring problem.
Ichiro, who has reached 200 hits in each of his first 10 seasons in Seattle, is currently on pace for just 170 this season, with 66 hits through 63 games.
His on-base percentage of .306 is also well below his career average of .376.
Seattle's Chone Figgins took over Ichiro's leadoff spot and had two hits in the Mariners' 3-2 victory over the Tigers.
However, he predicted Ichiro would be back in his familiar place in the lineup.
"It's not that big of a deal," Figgins said. "Ichi is still the leadoff hitter. He just gets a once-in-a-three-year day off, which he probably could use."