Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki hit a pinch-hit double in the seventh inning of Thursday’s 5-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, giving him 2,998 career hits to move within just two of the 3,000-hit barrier, per ESPN Stats & Info.

With the Marlins trailing 5-3 and catcher J.T. Realmuto on first base with one out, Suzuki was brought in to replace relief pitcher Mike Dunn, who had earlier taken over for a struggling Jose Fernandez.

Suzuki roped a ground-ball double to right field on the second pitch he saw from Cardinals reliever Jonathan Broxton, but right fielder Stephen Piscotty was able to cut the ball off before it reached the wall, holding Realmuto at third base and Suzuki at second.

Light-hitting Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria then grounded out to bring Realmuto home, but Suzuki (who represented the tying run) was stranded at third after infielder Chris Johnson was called out on strikes.

Although they got two more chances, the Marlins never got another runner past first base, grounding into double plays in both of the last two innings.

In any case, the 42-year-old Suzuki will soon become the 30th member of the 3,000-hit club, despite playing in his native Japan for his first nine professional seasons (from 1992 to 2000).  

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