|Oakland (43-55) «||0||0||2||0||0||1||4||0||0||7||9||0|
DETROIT -- Hideki Matsui doesn't think of himself as a member of the 500-homer club.
Still, he's glad people will stop asking about it.
Matsui hit his 500th professional homer Wednesday and drove in three runs to lead the Oakland Athletics over the Detroit Tigers 7-5. He has hit 168 major-league homers after hitting 332 for the Yomiuri Giants.
"I'm happy to get it over with, and it is even better that it helped us win a game," Matsui said through an interpreter. "It isn't like I've been aiming for this, because I don't really combine numbers from Japan and here. To me, they are two separate leagues."
|More on A's at Tigers|
Oakland manager Bob Melvin disagreed.
"I don't care that it is split, or how many he hit where," he said. "It is still the major leagues here and the major leagues in Japan, and it is quite a feat by a fantastic player."
Matsui led off the sixth inning with his milestone homer -- his first since June 16 -- to put Oakland up 3-2 and end Duane Below's night.
"It's great to see him get it, because the guys have been teasing him about taking so long," said Oakland starter Brandon McCarthy. "We needed all his hits today to win this game."
Below, making his major-league debut, allowed three runs -- one earned -- in five-plus innings.
"He did fine," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I thought at one point that the heat was getting to him, but he picked back up again."
Fellow rookie Lester Oliveros finished the inning, and Detroit took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the sixth.
McCarthy said the heat and humidity -- the heat index was 99 degrees at game time -- caused him to struggle. He allowed four runs on six hits in five-plus innings.
"I've never felt like that before," he said. "It was like pitching while wearing a heavy blanket. I never got comfortable."
"We don't get a lot of homers or even extra-base hits, so that's how we have to beat teams," Melvin said. "We hit singles and draw walks and put as much pressure as possible on the other team."
Matsui had a RBI single in Oakland's two-run third, but Don Kelly's triple helped the Tigers tie the game in the bottom of the inning.
Andrew Bailey, Oakland's sixth pitcher, pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 12 tries, striking out Cabrera to end the game with a runner on second.
|The A's rally with four crucial runs in the seventh inning. Hideki Matsui hits professional homer No. 500 in the win. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Coco Crisp, CF||4||1||1||0||1||0||0||.265|
|Cliff Pennington, SS||4||1||2||1||1||0||0||.247|
|Josh Willingham, LF||4||0||0||1||0||2||3||.240|
|Hideki Matsui, DH||4||1||3||3||0||0||0||.223|
|Conor Jackson, 3B-1B||4||0||1||1||0||1||3||.245|
|Kurt Suzuki, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.225|
|David DeJesus, RF||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.229|
|Landon Powell, 1B||3||2||1||0||1||1||0||.195|
|Scott Sizemore, 3B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.247|
|Eric Sogard, 2B||3||1||0||1||1||1||1||.125|
|HR - Hideki Matsui (7, Below)|
|SF - Josh Willingham (3)|
|RBI - Cliff Pennington (24), Josh Willingham (47), Hideki Matsui 3 (43), Conor Jackson (28), Eric Sogard (1)|
|2-OUT RBI - Hideki Matsui (15)|
|CS - Cliff Pennington (8, 2nd base by Furbush/Avila)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Pennington-Sogard-Powell|
|Joey Devine (BS,1; W,1-1)||1||2||1||1||1||0||0||2.45|
|Brad Ziegler (H,5)||0.1||2||0||0||0||0||0||1.80|
|Craig Breslow (H,6)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.18|
|Grant Balfour (H,16)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||2.15|
|Andrew Bailey (S,10)||1||0||0||0||1||2||0||2.00|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brandon McCarthy 85-57, Joey Devine 19-12, Brad Ziegler 5-3, Craig Breslow 3-1, Grant Balfour 20-14, Andrew Bailey 18-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon McCarthy 8-3, Brad Ziegler 1-0, Craig Breslow 1-0, Andrew Bailey 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Brandon McCarthy 22, Joey Devine 6, Brad Ziegler 3, Craig Breslow 1, Grant Balfour 4, Andrew Bailey 4|
|Austin Jackson, CF||5||1||1||0||0||2||2||.246|
|Brennan Boesch, LF||4||0||0||0||1||1||2||.298|
|Magglio Ordonez, RF||5||1||3||1||0||0||0||.234|
|Miguel Cabrera, 1B||5||1||2||0||0||1||2||.311|
|Victor Martinez, DH||3||1||1||2||1||0||1||.317|
|Carlos Guillen, 2B||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.429|
|Alex Avila, C||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.280|
|Don Kelly, 3B||3||1||1||1||0||1||1||.241|
|Ramon Santiago, SS||3||0||1||1||0||0||2||.227|
|a- Jhonny Peralta, PH-SS||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.312|
|a-flied out for Santiago in the 8th|
|2B - Victor Martinez (24, Devine)|
|3B - Don Kelly (2, McCarthy)|
|SF - Don Kelly (1)|
|RBI - Magglio Ordonez (16), Victor Martinez 2 (54), Don Kelly (12), Ramon Santiago (9)|
|2-OUT RBI - Magglio Ordonez (7)|
|SB - Austin Jackson (16, 2nd base off McCarthy/Suzuki)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Kelly-Guillen-Cabrera|
|E - Carlos Guillen (1, Misplayed grounder)|
|David Purcey (L,1-2)||0||0||3||3||3||0||0||5.06|
|Joaquin Benoit (BS,4)||1||3||1||1||0||0||0||4.25|
|WP - Duane Below (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Duane Below 77-51, Lester Oliveros 15-10, David Purcey 16-4, Joaquin Benoit 16-11, Charlie Furbush 30-19|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Duane Below 9-5, Lester Oliveros 1-0, Joaquin Benoit 1-1, Charlie Furbush 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Duane Below 22, Lester Oliveros 3, David Purcey 3, Joaquin Benoit 5, Charlie Furbush 6|
|Attendance - 31975|
|Game Time - 3:16|
|Temperature - 95|
|Umpires - Home - Scott Barry, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Manny Gonzalez, Third Base - John Hirschbeck|