PHOENIX (AP) — Hideki Matsui needed this one.
The Japanese slugger snapped out of a spring training slump with two hits, including a solo homer, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Colorado Rockies 9-4 on Sunday.
Matsui, who was stuck in a 1-for-21 slide, connected against former Oakland pitcher Huston Street in the third inning.
“I feel actually a little bit of relief,” Matsui said through an interpreter. “It’s probably good that it’s happening now as opposed to during the season … Usually as opening day comes close, hitting-wise, things get better and better.”
Cliff Pennington and Daric Barton also homered for the A’s. Pennington’s three-run shot in the fifth was his first hit in 13 spring at-bats.
Oakland’s Coco Crisp had three hits and is 14 for 27 this spring.
“Just going out there trying my best,” Crisp said. “I’m preparing myself before these games with practicing just seeing the ball. I did a good job of not trying to get ahead of myself this spring training and go out there just swinging.”
Ryan Spilborghs had three hits for Colorado, and Jonathan Herrera doubled, tripled and scored twice. Carlos Gonzalez stole two bases.
Trevor Cahill, who led Oakland with 18 wins last season, struggled for the third time in four spring starts, allowing three runs and six hits in four innings. He struck out five, all looking, walked two and threw a wild pitch that let Herrera score with two out in the fourth.
NOTES: Oakland RHP Joey Devine is day to day with irritation in his right biceps, which he felt Saturday while pitching a simulated game. … The A’s optioned RHP Fautino De Los Santos to Triple-A Sacramento and LHP Pedro Figueroa to Double-A Midland. … The Rockies optioned RHPs Bruce Billings and Casey Weathers, C Wilin Rosario, INF Hector Gomez and OF Cole Garner to minor league camp, and re-assigned RHPs Billy Buckner, Alan Johnson, Andrew Johnston and Adam Jorgenson, LHPs Christian Friedrich, Greg Smith and Keith Weiser, INF Thomas Field and OF Tim Wheeler to minor league camp. … Colorado will send a team to the Los Angeles Angels’ complex to play a non-counting practice game Monday morning. RHPs John Maine, Matt Daley, and Felipe Paulino and LHPs Eric Stults and Matt Reynolds will pitch. Paulino was recently moved to reliever after being considered for a spot in the starting rotation.
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