Matsui hits 500th professional home run

Oakland Athletics' Hideki Matsui watches his one RBI single against the Detroit Tigers....

Oakland Athletics' Hideki Matsui watches his one RBI single against the Detroit Tigers. (REUTERS/Rebecca Cook)

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, Last Updated: 9:27 PM ET

Athletics designated hitter Hideki Matsui joined rare company in a unique way on Wednesday, connecting on the 500th homer of his professional career in the sixth inning at Detroit.

Matsui ripped a fastball from Tigers rookie Duane Below, who was making his major league debut, off the right field foul pole for his seventh home run of the season and first since June 16. Twenty-five major league players and eight in the Japanese Leagues have previously reached the mark, but Matsui is the first to combine in the two leagues for 500.

The 37-year-old hit 332 home runs during his playing days in Japan, while Wednesday's homer was his 168th in the majors.

Matsui came into Wednesday hitting just .175 over his previous 17 games, but did go 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI in Tuesday's loss to the Tigers. 


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