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(LEAD) Rangers' Choo Shin-soo flashes opposite-field power, extends on-base streak to 44

All Headlines 13:13 July 05, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES with final results)

SEOUL, July 5 (Yonhap) -- Texas Rangers' South Korean designated hitter Choo Shin-soo has extended his major league-best on-base streak to 44 games, flashing some opposite field power in the process.

Choo kept the streak going with a towering solo home run to left-center field off Houston Astros starter Gerrit Cole in the bottom of the third inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on Wednesday (local time).

It was Choo's 16th home run of the season, the most he's had before the All-Star break in his career. Choo added a line drive single up the middle for good measure in the bottom fourth.

Choo owns the longest on-base streak in the majors this year and now has the longest such run by an Asian-born player in big league history, surpassing the 43-game streak set by Ichiro Suzuki for the Seattle Mariners in 2009.

The Rangers' franchise record for a single season is a 46-game streak set by Julio Franco in 1993. Choo is tied with Otis Nixon (1995) for the second-longest mark.

The Rangers' longest on-base streak at any point is held by Will Clark, who reached base in 58 consecutive games across 1995 and 1996 seasons.

Choo went 2-for-4 for the game, as the Rangers fell 5-4 in 10 innings.

Batting leadoff, Choo flied out to center in his first time up against Cole, a right-hander in the midst of a stellar season with a 9-2 record and a 2.50 ERA prior to this game.

But Choo got the better of him in the bottom third, sending a 96.1-mph four-seam fastball over the left-center field wall to put the Rangers ahead 2-0. It was measured at 443 feet.

Then in the fourth, Choo went down 0-2 in the count against Cole, before sending a hard line drive right past the pitcher for his second hit of the game.

That pitch was a 96.4-mph two-seamer. Prior to Wednesday, Choo was batting a robust .364 on fastballs measured at 96 mph or faster.

Choo was credited with a sacrifice bunt in the sixth inning. He laid one down back to pitcher Will Harris, who threw to third baseman Alex Bregman to get the lead runner out. But Bregman wasn't covering the bag, and he instead threw it back to first base to nab Choo, who missed a game last weekend with right thigh pains and wasn't running hard down the line.

Choo lined out to center field in the eighth in his final at-bat.

In this Reuters photo via USA Today Sports, Choo Shin-soo of the Texas Rangers watches his home run ball against the Houston Astros in the bottom of the third inning of their Major League Baseball regular season game at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on July 4, 2018. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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