Hideki Matsui, known as the best slugger to come to Major League Baseball from Japan, was released Wednesday by the Tampa Bay Rays. Last week, Matsui was designated for assignment after infielder Ryan Roberts was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Matsui, 38, signed April 30 and was added to the major league roster May 29. He hit two home runs in his first three games with the club but none since in a total of 34 games, including 23 starts. Matsui spent nine seasons in the majors with the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics following a 10-year career with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Central League. He hit 175 home runs and drove in 760 runs in 1,236 games. With the A's in 2011, Matsui batted .251 with 12 home runs.