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.

A’s prospect Jesus Luzardo shut down with a shoulder strain

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Not a great couple of day for the Oakland A’s. A few moments ago they just dropped their second of two games against the Mariners to start the season and now they have bad news about their top pitching prospect, Jesus Luzardo. Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that Luzardo will be shut down for 4-6 weeks with a strained muscle in his shoulder.

Luzardo was considered a candidate to open the season in the Oakland rotation but now it seems he won’t begin throwing again until late April or early May. Thus endeth a spring training in which he has allowed only one run in nine and two-thirds innings while striking out 15 and walking four.