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A's starting to see other half of Matsui

The Sports Xchange
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Hideki Matsui is on a little roll since the All-Star break, going 8-for-19 with nine RBI and three consecutive multiple-RBI games.

A new Matsui?

"He's always been a second-half player and he's off to a good start," said A's reliever Brian Fuentes, Matsui's teammate last year in Anaheim. "He's seeing the ball well."

The A's, thanks in part to Matsui, are 4-2 since the break and play their next three in New York, Matsui's home for the first seven years of his major league career.

Wednesday in Detroit, he hit his 500th home run, including his time in Japan, and said: "I have so many great memories of New York, I think I'd be asking for too much to have hit it there."

Last year, Matsui batted .252 before the break and .309 after. The 37-year-old designated hitter has a bigger hole from which to dig this year, as despite the recent hot spell, he's batting .223 this season.

Manager Bob Melvin said he's noticing a better Matsui stroke since the break.

"He looks fresher, and the bat's getting through the zone quicker since the second half started," Melvin said.

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