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Rangers' Choo Shin-soo gets first hit of season

All News 11:56 April 07, 2016

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- Choo Shin-soo of the Texas Rangers got his first hit of the Major League Baseball (MLB) season Thursday (Korean time), while his childhood friend Lee Dae-ho of the Seattle Mariners stayed on the bench.

Playing left field and batting leadoff against the Mariners, Choo went 1-for-4 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, where the Rangers suffered a 9-5 loss after surrendering five runs in the top of the ninth inning. But there was no South Korean meeting on the field as Lee failed to come off the bench.

The 33-year-old was playing leadoff hitter for the first time in 283 days when he featured as the first batter in the lineup against the Toronto Blue Jays on June 29.

Choo, who is in his 12th season in the majors, grounded out to second base in the first inning against left-handed Wade Miley and struck out in the third. But at his next at-bat in the bottom of the sixth, when the Rangers were trailing 3-2, Choo delivered a single to right field to start the inning. It was his first hit of the season in three games.

He then moved to second base after a single from Ian Desmond and both scored following Prince Fielder's home run.

Choo, however, suffered another strike out in the seventh, this time beaten by right-hander Nick Vincent.

The South Korean left-handed batter bats .111 (1-for-9), but has an on-base percentage of .385. In the previous two games, Choo went to base four times, with three walks and one hit-by-pitch.

Choo's childhood friend, Lee Dae-ho, however, failed to come to the plate for the Mariners as their regular first baseman Adam Lind started. The 32-year-old American went 1-for-5.

Elsewhere in the majors, the Minnesota Twins' designated hitter Park Byung-ho struck out three times and walked in a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Park's batting average went down from .333 to .167 after his hitless performance.

The Orioles' outfielder Kim Hyun-soo again failed to feature on the field. His rival Joey Rickard started in left field and went 2-for-3 with an RBI to help his team's 4-2 victory.

kdon@yna.co.kr
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