Rangers’ Choo Shin-soo belts 1st homer of 2018

April 5, 2018

SEOUL, April 5 (Yonhap) — Texas Rangers’ Choo Shin-soo has gone deep for the first time in the 2018 season.

The South Korean designated hitter hit a solo shot off Yusmeiro Petit of the Oakland Athletics in the top of the ninth inning at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland on Wednesday (local time). Choo’s first home run of the season cut the Rangers’ deficit to 6-2, but they ended up losing by that same score.

Choo batted leadoff for the third straight game, after starting the season hitting in the sixth and fifth spots. Delino DeShields, who began the season at the top of the order, has suffered a hand injury that will keep him out of action for up to six weeks, and manager Jeff Banister has elected to go with Choo in the leadoff spot.

Choo, 35, entered the game with an on-base percentage of .371 as the leadoff man since 2016, tops in the majors.

That home run was Choo’s only hit of the game. He was hit by a pitch in his first plate appearance, and grounded out in the third and the sixth innings.

Choo is now batting .318 for the season, with a .400 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage.

Choo is currently the only South Korean hitter on a major league roster. Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Choi Ji-man played in the team’s first game of the season but was promptly optioned to the minors to make room for newly acquired pitcher Dan Jennings.

In this Getty Images photo, Choo Shin-soo of the Texas Rangers (R) is congratulated by Joey Gallo after hitting a solo home run against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the ninth inning of their major league regular season game at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland on April 4, 2018. (Yonhap)In this Getty Images photo, Choo Shin-soo of the Texas Rangers (R) is congratulated by Joey Gallo after hitting a solo home run against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the ninth inning of their major league regular season game at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland on April 4, 2018. (Yonhap)

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