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PHOENIX (Kyodo) Hideki Matsui finally got his first hit of the spring Monday, a single off the Seattle Mariners’ Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez.

Matsui, by his own admission a notorious slow starter, blooped a hit to left field during the first inning in his fifth game of the preseason. Matsui and the Oakland Athletics lost 6-3 to the Mariners.

“I thought it was foul, but the wind brought it back,” said the 36-year-old Matsui, who was slotted third in the order at DH. “It was a good at-bat. Everything is practice right now.”

Matsui thought little of his matchup against the Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki, who drove in a run in the third inning with a shot up the middle. The two will open their season against each other on April 1 at Oakland.

“I’ve played against him many times in the past,” Matsui said of Ichiro. “If the fans enjoy it, then that’s good enough for me.”

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