SEATTLE – Baltimore Orioles (search) slugger Rafael Palmeiro (search) became the 26th player to reach 3,000 career hits on Friday night, curling an RBI double into the left field corner in the fifth inning off Seattle starter Joel Pineiro.
Palmeiro also has 566 home runs over his 20-year career, joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray as the only players with 3,000 hits and 500 homers.
Palmeiro tied Roberto Clemente (search) for 25th place on the all-time list, both with 3,000 hits.
He was cheered each time he batted, and flashbulbs popped on every pitch. Teammates rushed onto the field from the dugout and bullpen after the milestone hit, and Palmeiro received a lengthy standing ovation from the Safeco Field crowd.
As the Orioles left the field, Palmeiro raised his helmet and thanked the fans.
Palmeiro, who walked in the first inning and grounded out in the third, went into a four-game series at Seattle only two hits short of 3,000. He was 1-for-3 with a walk in the series opener, lining a single to right field in the fourth inning Thursday.
Rickey Henderson was the most recent player to reach 3,000 hits, accomplishing the feat Oct. 7, 2001 for San Diego.