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06/05/10 6:08 PM ET

Sojo helps Mariners turn back the clock

SEATTLE -- Former Mariners infielder Luis Sojo had surgery on his right hip five weeks ago, but nothing was going to keep him from accepting the organization's invitation to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in Saturday's "Turn Back the Clock Day" at Safeco Field.

A between-innings chat in the press box naturally turned to "the hit" that Sojo says "opened the door for me, no doubt about that."

To refresh some memories:

The Mariners and Angels were locked in a tight one-game playoff at the Kingdome to decide which team would advance to the American League Division Series and which team would have its season end.

Sojo came to bat against former Mariners left-hander Mark Langston in the seventh inning with the bases loaded, two outs and the Mariners leading, 1-0. He hit a grounder just inside the first-base line, the ball snuck under first baseman J.T. Snow's glove and rolled into the right-field bullpen. Four runs scored on the play.

The Mariners went on to a 9-1 victory to win the first of their three division championships and then upset the Yankees in the best-of-five Division Series before losing to the Indians in the Championship Series.

"Langston still gives me a bad time every time I see him," Sojo said, smiling. "It really surprised me that the ball got past [Snow] because he was a Gold Glove winner and one of the best fielders in the business.

"I started running, and kept running until I slid across the plate."

Sojo eventually signed with the Yankees and played in four World Series.

"Playing in the World Series is tough to beat," he said, "but in my big league experience, that hit in '95 is always on my mind."

Ichiro scores 1,000th run of MLB career

SEATTLE -- Ichiro Suzuki is mostly known for his prowess at the plate, but he crosses it a lot, too.

The Hits Man scored in the fifth inning to tie the Mariners and Angels at 1 and notch the 1,000th run of his Major League career. He's third in Seattle history in that category, and he's the eighth-fastest active player to accomplish the milestone, doing so in 1,481 games.

After scoring, Ichiro received a standing ovation from the crowd of 31,548 at Safeco Field. As fans chanted his name, he came out to the top step of the dugout and tipped his cap.

His run total since 2001 is fifth in the Major Leagues behind Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter. He leads the Mariners with 27 this season.

Cordero relishes return to big leagues

SEATTLE -- The 25-minute drive from Safeco Field to his offseason residence in Fife, Wash., on Friday night gave Mariners right-hander Chad Cordero a chance to reflect on what had just happened.

He called the trek "kind of cool."

He replayed each of the 19 pitches he made in the seventh inning of the Mariners' loss to the Angels -- the first pitches he had thrown in the Major Leagues since April 29, 2008.

"I was by myself, basically going from the time they told me to get ready, to the last pitch I threw to [Torii] Hunter," Cordero said. "After going through everything I did, and being back on the mound, was pretty cool. I kept telling myself not to be nervous because I've done it before, but it was a whole different thing.

"I was more nervous last night than I was as a rookie."

Two surgeries and far too many rehab days to count, Cordero was back.

Signed as a free agent prior to last season, the 28-year-old former All-Star closer was promoted from Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday.

His long-awaited return to a big league appearance came with one out and a runner on base in the seventh inning, when he replaced Sean White.

Cordero faced five batters and retired three of them. The other two hit doubles, leading to two runs.

Worth noting

Third-base coach Mike Brumley will miss Sunday's series finale against the Angels to attend his daughter's high school graduation in the Dallas area. Darrin Garner, the Mariners' Minor League infield and baserunning coordinator, will coach first base on Sunday with first-base coach Lee Tinsley moving to third. Brumley will rejoin the team for Monday night's series opener against the Rangers in Arlington. ... Right-hander Doug Fister, scratched from his Saturday start because of shoulder fatigue, was feeling better and is expected to start Thursday night's series finale against the Rangers. ... Designated hitter Mike Sweeney (back) might be able to play in Sunday's game against the Angels. ... Of all the MLB players since 1901 that have recorded at least 1,000 career hits, Ichiro Suzuki leads the way with an average of 1.42 hits per game. ... The roof at Safeco Field has been closed or moved during play in 16 of the team's 31 home games. That already is more than the entire seasons in 2000 (11), '03 (15) and '06 (10).

Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. Mike McCall is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.