Texas Rangers’ South Korean designated hitter Choo Shin-soo has tied his career high by reaching base safely in 35 consecutive games.
Choo went 2-for-4 with his 14th home run of the season against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Friday (local time).
Batting leadoff as the designated hitter, Choo launched a two-run shot off Minnesota starter Fernando Romero in the top of the fifth inning, keeping his streak alive and giving the Rangers a 4-0 lead. Choo added an RBI single later as the Rangers went on to win 8-1.
Choo previously reached base in 35 straight games over the course of the 2012 and 2013 seasons, split with the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds.
The 35-year-old now has the longest active on-base streak in the majors. It‘s also the second longest such run this season, after a 40-game streak by Odubel Herrera of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Choo entered Friday’s game slashing .333/.463/.591 in June with four homers, eight RBIs, 22 runs scored and 16 walks.
Choo struck out swinging on a 97-mph fastball from Romero in the top of the first. And in the third inning, Choo went down swinging on another 97-mph fastball.
But in his third at-bat, Choo jumped on a 93-mph fastball from Romero that came right over the heart of the plate, and sent it well over the right field wall for his 14th homer of the season and ninth long ball during his on-base streak.
Those 14 dingers are the most Choo has had in the first half of a season in his career. It puts him on pace for 29 homers, which would be a new career high by seven. Choo has hit 22 homers in three different seasons.
Choo was intentionally walked in the seventh inning. And in the top of the ninth, Choo picked up his third RBI of the game with a single and came around to score on Nomar Mazara‘s single.
With the Rangers stuck in last place in the American League West at 33-44, Choo has emerged as a potential trade candidate for contenders looking for some offensive help. Choo once seemed untradeable because of his massive, seven-year, US$130 million contract, but U.S. reports now say the Rangers are willing to eat up some part of Choo’s remaining salary to deal him.
Choo is making $20 million this year and is owed $42 million over the next two years. (Yonhap)