Suzuki, who gave an emotional press conference before switching clubhouses, received a 45-second standing ovation from his suddenly former home crowd the first time he took the plate as a member of the Yankees. He doffed his batting helmet and bowed twice to the crowd, then proceeded to hit a single to center field and steal second base.
“Obviously, it looks different being over here,” Suzuki said through a translator. “I was worried about my first at-bat. I was really relieved with the standing ovation. It was a special day today.”
Suzuki finished 1 for 4 and caught the final out of the game. He played right field in place of the injured Nick Swisher but will eventually move over to left to replace Brett Gardner, who will likely miss the rest of the season because of an elbow problem.
Another strange sight for Seattle fans -- Suzuki with No. 31 on his back instead of his usual No. 51. The latter number has not been worn by a Yankee since four-time World Series champion Bernie Williams last played.
“No. 51 is a special number to me, but when I think about what 51 means to the Yankees, it's hard for me to ask for that number,” Suzuki said.