Cubs’ Seiya Suzuki ties Japanese rookie hit-streak record

Chicago Cubs rookie Seiya Suzuki on Monday hit safely in his ninth straight game in which he had an at-bat, tying Akinori Iwamura’s record for the longest hitting streak to start an MLB career for a Japanese player.

Suzuki, who was named National League Player of the Week after his first full week of the regular season, batted cleanup and went 2-for-3 with two runs scored in the Cubs’ 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Wrigley Field.

“I’ve been doing well because we’ve been winning. I’m just working hard and getting lucky with the results,” Suzuki said.

“I’m happy (to be named Player of the Week) but it’s only been one week. It doesn’t mean anything if I can’t keep it up.”

He singled to left center in the fourth and singled again in the eighth, to shallow right. He also reached base when he was safe at first on a throwing error by shortstop Taylor Walls in the second and he was hit on his elbow pad by a pitch in the seventh.

Iwamura hit in nine straight games to start the 2007 campaign when he played for the Florida-based franchise then known as the Devil Rays. He retired in 2017 after 21 seasons, including four seasons in MLB.

At Minute Maid Park, Shohei Ohtani stretched his hit streak to eight games but the Los Angeles Angels were beaten by the Houston Astros 8-3. Ohtani, who batted leadoff as the designated hitter, went 1-for-3 and was issued his first intentional walk of the season.

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