Japanese home run king Sadaharu Oh paid tribute to Hideki Matsui after the Oakland Athletics' outfielder hit his 500th homer.
"Five hundred is a figure that carries a lot of worth in the major leagues," Oh said Thursday. "To keep hitting home runs during a tough schedule while maintaining your conditioning is not easy."
Matsui has 168 home runs in the majors and 332 for the Yomiuri Giants.
Oh hit a record 868 home runs over 22 seasons with the Giants, helping his team win nine straight Japan Series championships between 1965-73. Oh shares the Japanese single-season home run record of 55 with Tuffy Rhodes and Alex Cabrera.
Only eight players have hit more than 500 homers in the history of Japanese professional baseball. On Wednesday night in Detroit, Matsui homered and drove in three runs in Oakland's 7-5 victory.
Two new arrests in fan beating
Two new suspects were arrested Wednesday in the beating of a Giants fan outside Dodger Stadium and the original suspect may well be exonerated, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that if the district attorney's office files a case against the men, the man previously identified as the suspect, Giovanni Ramirez, would be exonerated.
The arrest marks a dramatic turn in the case. Since Ramirez was arrested May 22, police have consistently restated they believed they had their man.
"I'm happy for my client. I always believed he was factually innocent," Ramirez attorney Anthony Brooklier told the Los Angeles Times. "There was a lot of pressure on LAPD. I believe that they were operating in good faith and made a good faith mistake."
Giants fan Bryan Stow, 42, was almost fatally beaten outside the stadium after attending the March 31 season opener between the Giants and Dodgers. He remains in serious condition after suffering brain damage.
■ Mets third baseman David Wright is expected to come off the disabled list Friday. Manager Terry Collins said he plans to have Wright in the lineup when New York starts a series at Florida. Wright has been out since mid-May with a stress fracture in his lower back.
■ The Padres sent slumping prospect Anthony Rizzo to Triple-A Tucson following Thursday's 5-3 win over the Marlins. After tearing up the Pacific Coast League, Rizzo joined the Padres on June 9, but he batted only .143 with 36 strikeouts in 98 at-bats.
■ Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez left Thursday's game during his at-bat in the fifth inning. Gonzalez fouled off a pitch and grabbed his right wrist after his swing.
■ Cardinals shortstop Ryan Theriot sat out Thursday's game after his two-game suspension for making contact with an umpire during an argument was cut in half. Theriot had appealed the suspension. The league offered to drop the penalty to one game if he served it immediately.