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Oakland Athletics designated hitter Hideki Matsui (55) watches from the dugout in the second inning of their Major League Baseball game against the New York Yankees, at the Overstock.com Coliseum, in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, June 1, 2011.The Yankees would go onto beat the Athletics 4-2. (Anda Chu/Staff)

Light-hitting Matsui sits again against old mates

Frustration is mounting for the A's designated hitter Hideki Matsui, who for the second straight day wasn't in the lineup against a New York Yankees right-handed starter.

Matsui went 0 for 3 on Monday, dropping his average in May to .197, and he is hitting just .222 with three homers and 19 RBIs this season. Manager Bob Geren said he has better options. Matsui was in the on-deck circle to pinch-hit when the game ended Wednesday.

"He's struggling a little bit right now, and we've got a couple of other guys swinging the bat pretty good," Geren said. "I fully expect him to be fine and contribute and have a fine second half."

Matsui didn't question the manager's benching but maintained it's going to be challenging to work through his slump if he's not in the lineup on a regular basis.

"Obviously, not being able to play is kind of a difficult situation where in order to get out of a slump, you have to play," Matsui said through interpreter Roger Kahlon. "But if you're not playing, then it's hard to get out of it. It's one of those Catch-22 situations."

Did it hurt not to be playing against his old teammates the past two days?

"Regardless of whether it's your former teammates or not, the desire for any player is to be able to play every day," Matsui said. "Obviously, realistically, I haven't been contributing, so it's a bit disappointing not to be out there."

Matsui hit under .200 for the Los Angeles Angels last year in May but responded to finish the season hitting .274 with 21 home runs. At this point last year, he had seven homers and 27 RBIs.

Matsui was asked if he thought if a continued lack of production might jeopardize his place on the A's roster.

"That's not really my decision," he said. "But as far as results, that applies to any player, and in order to play in this league, you have to be productive."

  • Daric Barton also was on the bench for the second straight day. He is hitting .177 over his last 38 games (25 for 141) and is the only starting first baseman in the major leagues without a homer.

  • Catcher Kurt Suzuki confirmed he spoke with general manager Billy Beane about avoiding home-plate collisions however possible. "He just said, 'What happened to Buster Posey was awful, kind of a freak accident, but basically I don't want that to happen to you. I don't want you to have surgery and to be out the rest of the year,' " Suzuki said. "He was just reiterating that."

    -- CARL STEWARD