LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hideki Matsui and the Los Angeles Angels brought Dallas Braden back to earth on Friday, the Japanese slugger crushing a three-run homer in a 4-0 win over the Oakland A's pitcher.
Braden had hurled just the 19th perfect game in Major League Baseball when he retired every batter in order in beating the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 in his previous outing.
The Oakland lefty coaxed groundball outs from the first two Angels batters he faced on Friday before Bobby Abreu stroked a double to left-center to end his string of perfection.
Braden then set down the next 11 batters he faced before Matsui singled in the fifth inning, and he was locked in a scoreless duel with Angels left-hander Joe Saunders until Los Angeles broke through in the sixth.
A two-out single to left, with men on first and second base, by Kendry Morales scored Erick Aybar with the game's first run and Matsui followed with a line shot over the wall in right for his fifth homer and a 4-0 lead.
Saunders, who yielded just four hits, improved to 2-5 with his first victory since April 17 at Toronto. Braden gave up seven hits and a walk as his record dipped to 4-3.
(Writing by Larry Fine in New York, Editing by Peter Rutherford)