Hideki Matsui hits 500th career home run

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Hideki Matsui, who hit 332 homers in Japan before signing with the Yankees in 2003, hit his 168th MLB homer Wednesday off the Tigers’ Duane Below in Oakland’s 7-5 victory.  Add it all up and that’s 500 career home runs for Godzilla.

Matsui has seven homers so far this season.  A two-time All-Star in the U.S., he had his best season with the Yankees in 2004, hitting 31 homers in 584 at-bats.  He peaked two years earlier in Japan, hitting 50 homers on his way to his third MVP award as a Yomiuri Giant.

Matsui also went over 2,500 hits and 1,600 RBI earlier this season.  He’s a career .285/.364/.469 hitter with 722 RBI in 1,142 games in the majors.

Report: Nationals sign reliever Brandon Kintzler to a two-year deal

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Both a Kinsler and a Kintzler made headlines at the Winter Meetings. After the Angels acquired second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Tigers, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Nationals have inked reliever Brandon Kintzler to a two-year contract, pending a physical.

Kintzler, 33, spent the latter half of his 2017 campaign with the Nationals after the Twins traded him. Between both clubs, he put up an aggregate 3.03 ERA with 29 saves and a 39/16 K/BB ratio in 71 1/3 innings.

Sean Doolittle will handle save situations for the Nationals. Kintzler and Ryan Madson will bridge the gap to him in the seventh and eighth innings.