SEATTLE -- It's a different Mariners lineup that the Royals are facing this weekend. For the first time since 2001, there's no Ichiro Suzuki.
Suzuki tortured the Royals more than any other American League club, batting .365 (145-for-397) against them.
"I don't know how he did it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He always found a hole or a spot. Pretty amazing."
In 2006, Ichiro hit .529 (18-for-34) against Kansas City. All but two of his 10 career homers against the Royals came before Yost took over in 2010.
"He never really burned us for power, or doubles in the gap," Yost said. "You never liked to see him come up with guys on because he was such a tough out. He was hard to defend because he sprays the ball everywhere."
Even though Royals pitcher Bruce Chen opposed Suzuki left-on-left, he didn't subdue him often enough. Ichiro's average against Chen was .414 (12-for-29).
"He's good, man. You have to remember when I faced him, he was in his prime," Chen said. "The guy's tough. The hardest thing with him was he's a very good contact hitter and he's fast. So every time he puts the ball in play, unless it's in the air, he has a chance."
In a total of 433 plate appearances against Kansas City, Suzuki struck out only 33 times.
"It was a real good challenge facing him," Chen said. "He's probably one of the best hitters in the big leagues and, combined between Japan and the United States, I think he has a chance of getting 4,000 hits.
"I never backed down from a challenge and he's definitely one guy that you wanted to pitch to and see how good you are."
Guthrie getting settled in with Royals
SEATTLE -- Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, who will make his second start for Kansas City on Friday night against Seattle, is settling in nicely with the Royals.
"Baseball's a small fraternity where, if you switch teams, you're always going to know a few guys that you played against along the way," Guthrie said. "Players seem to mold into the new team pretty easily."
There are no former teammates of Guthrie's on the Royals, with many of the players either homegrown or recent arrivals to the Majors. He's impressed by what he's seen from his new club.
"You watch the lineup, one through nine, and it just continues to improve and it's loaded with talent," Guthrie said. "And some of the young arms we're seeing out there have the potential to be really good for a long time."
Cain sees role model Hunter up close
SEATTLE -- When Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain was getting serious about baseball -- something that didn't happen until he was in high school -- one of his role models was Torii Hunter.
"When I started, I watched videos of him hitting and what-not," Cain said. "I really liked the way he played the game, so I tried to mold my game after his defensively, and the way he swung the bat was something I was really impressed by."
Cain got a view of Hunter at his best on Wednesday, when the Angels' designated hitter went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs in an 11-6 victory over the Royals. Since moving up the ranks in baseball, Cain has had a few opportunities to visit with Hunter.
"When LaTroy Hawkins and I were with Milwaukee during Spring Training, we went to one of the Globetrotters' basketball games, and I got to meet him then," Cain said. "He signed a ball for me and I got a chance to talk to him."
The relationship has continued.
"He's definitely pulled me aside a few times and told me to stay with my approach and go the other way sometimes and also use the whole field when you hit," Cain said.
Hunter got to see Cain pull a home run to left field and smack a couple hits to right field during the series at Anaheim.
Daytime dilemma: When the Royals lost on Wednesday at Anaheim, it was their eighth straight loss in a day game, a trend they would like to reverse on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at Safeco Field. Overall, the Royals are 12-22 in the daytime, including 2-12 at home.
Right fielder Jeff Francoeur notched his 12th assist in the first inning on Thursday night, forcing out Casper Wells with a throw to second base after fielding John Jaso's looper. That gave Francoeur the Major League lead in outfield assists. For the season, the Royals outfield has 28 assists, most in the Majors.
Second baseman Johnny Giavotella's hitting streak for Triple-A Omaha reached 21 games (36-for-87, .414) with three hits, including a homer and a double, in Thursday night's 5-1 loss in his hometown of New Orleans.
Right-hander Elisaul Pimentel's three-hit, 4-1 victory for Single-A Wilmington over Frederick marked the Blue Rocks' first true nine-inning complete game since 2007. Chris Dwyer had one in 2010 but it came in a suspended game.
Jim Brower, pitching coach for Single-A Kane County, will be the pitching coach in the Arizona Fall League for the Surprise Saguaros. The Minor League players will be supplied by the Royals, Cardinals, Mets, Red Sox and Rangers.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.