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Ichiro to announce retirement after this morning’s game

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A source has told Jim Allen of Kyodo News that Ichiro Suzuki has told the Seattle Mariners that he intends to retire after the Mariners-Athletics game currently underway in Tokyo. UPDATE: ESPN has confirmed the report and announced it during the Mariners-A’s broadcast.

While it was suspected that Ichiro’s intention was to only play the two games in the Japan Series and not remain with the Mariners once the regular season heads back to the United States, this is the first word we’ve heard that he does, in fact, plan to do that.

We’ll obviously have more on this later today if and when Ichiro does, in fact, make such an announcement publicly.

Lucas Giolito earns second shutout of season

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The Twins have arguably baseball’s scariest offense. Their average of 5.87 runs per game is second only to the Yankees (5.90) while leading the league in slugging percentage (.501), OPS (.840), and home runs (244). White Sox starter Lucas Giolito made their offense look impotent on Wednesday, blanking them over nine innings for his second shutout of the season. The White Sox won 4-0.

Giolito allowed just three hits and walked none while fanning 12 batters over his nine innings of work. He’s now 14-6 with a 3.20 ERA and a 194/51 K/BB ratio in 151 2/3 innings on the season. Giolito is very much in the AL Cy Young Award picture. The Astros’ Justin Verlander leads the league in ERA at 2.81. A strong finish to the season for Giolito could certainly see his ERA dip below 3.00.

As mentioned, Wednesday’s shutout was Giolito’s second of the season. He and the Indians’ Shane Bieber are the only pitchers with multiple shutouts this season. They are two of only 21 pitchers with a shutout.