The first indication something was going on with Hideki Matsui came at about 4 p.m., when the two-dozen Japanese reporters who cover him converged for a group interview. Typically, pregame clubhouse time is reserved for Matsui's one-on-one interviews.
The story line across the Pacific: another lineup drop for Matsui, who began the season as the Angels cleanup hitter and now will bat seventh against left-handed pitchers (sixth vs. righties). Angels manager Mike Scioscia met with Matsui in his office before the game.
Matsui was swinging a hot bat in the first two weeks, but he is batting .146 in his last 82 at-bats. He hit eighth on opening day of 2008 while with the New York Yankees and he said he's not concerned about being moved down again.
"Obviously, the results aren't there for me right now and other players are hitting better than me," Matsui said.
Matsui turns 36 on June 12. The man he replaced as the Angels' designated hitter, Vladimir Guerrero, is batting .339 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs for the Texas Rangers.