Matsui homers in first at-bat for third straight year
SAN DIEGO - Kazuo Matsui of the New York Mets hit an inside-the-park home run on Thursday night, the third straight year he's homered in his first at-bat of the season.
Matsui was activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game. He opened the season on the DL with a sprained ligament in his right knee.
Leading off the second inning, Matsui hit a fly ball off Padres ace Jake Peavy that glanced off the glove of retreating right fielder Brian Giles, bounced off a sign on the fence and rolled along the fence toward the right-center gap.
The relay throw arrived at the plate just as Matsui did, but catcher Mike Piazza couldn't hold onto the ball.
It was Matsui's first career inside-the-park homer, and the first by a Mets player since Marlon Anderson did it against the Los Angeles Angels last June 11.
As a rookie in 2004, Matsui became the second player in big league history to hit his first home run in his first at-bat while leading off a game to start a season.
Ken Griffey Jr. was the last player to accomplish the feat homering on his first at-bat of the season in 1997, 1998 and 1999, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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