February 25, 2003
TAMPA -- Hideki Matsui went 0-for-2 Monday in his first intrasquad game with the Yankees.
The three-time MVP of Japan's Central League started in leftfield and hit fifth for the "Gators," which included the regular starters and beat the Reggies 4-3.
"It's been a while since my last actual game," Matsui said through an interpreter. "I felt pretty good playing the game."
Matsui left after the fourth inning of the five-inning game so he could do his conditioning work before an appointment with a dentist. Manager Joe Torre said Matsui might need a root canal.
"It was just picked up in routine stuff," Torre said. "It's nothing that has been bothering him."
Matsui is not expected to play today.
Matsui's first at-bat, against minor-league pitcher Alex Graman, came with runners on first and second and two outs in the first. On a 2-and-0 pitch, he grounded out to first baseman Fernando Seguignol.
"I was just trying to get a feel with playing the actual game," Matsui said. "Also, getting a feel of the pitchers."
Matsui's second at-bat came as the leadoff hitter in the fourth. He hit a high pop fly on an 1-and-0 pitch by minor-leaguer Jason Anderson that was caught in shallow right by Marcus Thames.