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Choi Ji-man benched in Rays' ALDS victory over Red Sox

All News 13:37 October 08, 2021

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Oct. 8 (Yonhap) -- Tampa Bay Rays' Choi Ji-man was benched in his team's postseason victory over the Boston Red Sox at home.

The Rays shut out the Red Sox 5-0 to open the best-of-five American League Division Series (ALDS) at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Thursday (local time).

In this Associated Press photo, Choi Ji-man of the Tampa Bay Rays prepares for his turn during batting practice before Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Oct. 7, 2021. (Yonhap)

Choi, the left-handed hitting first baseman, remained on the bench in favor of right-handed batting Jordan Luplow, as the Red Sox started left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was gone after just 1 2/3 innings, but Choi stayed in the dugout against three Boston relievers -- right-handers Garrett Richards, Nick Pivetta and Adam Ottavino, and southpaw Josh Taylor.

Choi is the only South Korean remaining in the postseason.

He batted .229/.348/.411 with 11 home runs and 45 RBIs in 83 games in the regular season, after missing time with knee, hamstring and groin injuries.

All 11 of those home runs came against right-handed pitchers. Choi batted only .186/.269/.257 against left-handers, with 30 strikeouts in 70 at-bats.

Game 2 is back at The Trop at 7:02 p.m. Friday (local time), or 8:02 a.m. Saturday in South Korea. Choi will likely start that game on the bench again, as the Red Sox are scheduled to start left-hander Chris Sale.

In this Associated Press photo, members of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrate their 5-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Oct. 7, 2021. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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