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Matsui Connects On His 2nd-Inning Homerun
Matsui Connects On His 2nd-Inning Homerun

Posted Mar 28, 2004


Yankees' outfielder Hideki Matsui apparently has the best sense of timing in modern sports. He hit a grand slam in his Yankee Stadium debut last season, and he pulled it off again in his return to his home country. Matsui clubbed a long second-inning homerun against his former team, the Yomiuri Giants, early Sunday morning as the Yanks beat the Giants 6-2 in an exhibition game.

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Matsui went 2-3 on the day with a single and two walks.  He struck out looking in his final at bat of the game.  The Yankees also got runs on a Jason Giambi double and homeruns by Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada

Jose Contreras started the game for New York and made short work of the Yomiuri offense.  The big right-hander from Cuba struck out six Giants in five innings, including the first three batters of the first inning.  He allowed just one run on three hits.  Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth inning and allowed the other run.

The big story was Matsui however, who returned to the place where he became a national superstar.  As a member of the Giants, Matsui won three MVP awards and hit 50 homeruns in the season before he came to the Major Leagues.  He was cheered wildly in each of his at bats, a break in tradition for the Japanese fans who never cheer for the away team.  The crowd also booed both times that Matsui was walked.  They wanted to see him hit.

The Yankees will play the Hanshin Tigers in an exhibition game on Monday before opening the regular season against the Devil Rays on Tuesday.

AP

Jeter Hit A Solo Homer
AP
Contreras Pitched Exceptionally Well
AP
Giambi Ripped A Two-Run Double

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