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Originally published Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 5:42 PM

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Ichiro excited by playoff possibility with Yankees

Ichiro Suzuki last played in meaningful games in the final weeks of the regular season more than 10 years ago.

AP Sports Writer

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SEATTLE —

Ichiro Suzuki last played in meaningful games in the final weeks of the regular season more than 10 years ago.

Now he's playing for a team that is disappointed when it doesn't win a World Series title.

A day after the shocking trade from Seattle to the New York Yankees, Suzuki spoke Tuesday about his need to raise his game to the level of the rest of the team with the best record in baseball and a seven-game lead in the AL East.

The Yankees acquired Suzuki in part to take the role of Brett Gardner, who is out for the season with an elbow injury. Gardner had surgery Tuesday.

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