• Kyodo


New York Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui blasted a three-run homer Monday for his second home run in a spring exhibition game Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Matsui, who went 3-for-3 before being replaced on defense in the sixth, has so far batted .556, with five hits and five RBIs in his nine at-bats in three games.

With two outs and runners on first and second in the bottom of the fifth, Matsui connected with Evan Thomas’ first pitch and rocketed the ball over the right-field fence.

The 28-year-old slugger singled to right in his first at-bat in the second and hit a bloop single in the fourth. The Blue Jays edged the Yankees 9-8.

“I had no information about the pitcher and was expecting a fastball,” Matsui said after the game. “But somehow, I was able to cope with a curve ball. I knew it would go since I felt the impact. I was able to swing my best swing. My condition is getting better.”

But Matsui is not expected to play in Tuesday’s exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox. His next appearance will be Friday against the Minnesota Twins.

Debut homer for Reggie

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) Reggie Sanders homered, drew a bases-loaded walk and drove in three runs in his first game with Pittsburgh, and the Pirates routed a Minnesota Twins’ split squad 14-3 Monday.

Sanders hit a long two-run homer in a five-run fifth inning that gave the Pirates a 9-1 lead. The shot easily cleared the left-field fence and landed on the roof of the Bradenton Boys and Girls Club.

Kida out of hospital

VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) Pitcher Masao Kida of the Los Angeles Dodgers was released from a hospital Monday, two days after being injured in a car accident.

Kida, 34, was hospitalized with a broken toe, bruised spleen and lower back injury following the accident.

Teppei Shiokawa, a passenger in the vehicle driven by Kida and the interpreter for Dodgers pitchers Hideo Nomo and Kazuhisa Ishii, had exploratory surgery Monday, team spokesman Derrick Hall said.

Kida, who signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers last month, was driving a vehicle that was hit head-on late Saturday.

Hall said Shiokawa will probably be moved from the intensive care unit to a private room Wednesday and is expected to make a full recovery.

Boss stays mum

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has no plans to talk with David Wells about the pitcher’s book.

“I haven’t heard much about it except what you guys write,” Steinbrenner told reporters Monday. “I’m not reading it, so I don’t really know.”

Wells could be punished by the Yankees for writing an autobiography that general manager Brian Cashman said “tarnishes the Yankees’ image.” Wells apologized to Cashman on Saturday and addressed his teammates Sunday.

In the galleys, Wells said 25 to 40 percent of major leaguers used steroids. The figure in the actual book, which will be published March 14, is 10 to 25 percent.

Cashman planned to begin reading the galleys Monday.

“I’m not going to answer any more questions,” Steinbrenner said. “Talk to Cashman, talk to (Joe) Torre. Those are the two people you have to talk to. I’ve got these guys to handle it.”

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