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Choo extends his on-base streak

June 20,2018
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Choo Shin-soo of the Texas Rangers, center, celebrates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Monday. [AP/YONHAP]
The Texas Rangers’ Korean designated hitter, Choo Shin-soo, has stretched his on-base streak to 32 games, reaching base safely five times in a win over the Kansas City Royals.

Choo went 2-for-2 with a home run and three walks, helping the Rangers get past the Royals 6-3 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, on Monday.

Choo is now three games away from the longest on-base streak of his career. Between 2012 and 2013, Choo reached base in 35 consecutive games.

On Monday, he wasted no time in keeping his current streak alive, as he touched starter Ian Kennedy for a leadoff home run in the top of the first inning. It was Choo’s 13th home run of the season and fourth in 15 games in June.

Choo drew his first walk of the day during the third inning and scored on Nomar Mazara’s single. In the fifth, Choo hit a double off Kennedy and followed that up with a walk in the seventh and another in the eighth.

At age 35, Choo is enjoying one of his most productive seasons at the plate. He is fifth in the American League with a 0.394 on-base percentage and third with 49 walks. With a single home run, Choo’s statistics for the season, as of Monday’s game, includes a batting average of 0.279 with 32 RBIs.

Choo is also on pace for 28 homers, which would be his career high. Currently, Choo’s career high in home runs during a single season is 22, which he achieved in 2010, 2015 and last season.

Choo left for the United States in 2001 and played four seasons in the minor league. He made his major league debut with the Seattle Mariners as a right fielder in 2005, but shortly after, he was relegated to the minors again and traded to the Cleveland Indians, where he played for seven seasons.

When Choo joined the Rangers in 2014, he was struggling from an injury, but in his second season, he excelled, producing 22 home runs.

After struggling from injuries again in 2016 and put on the disabled list four times throughout the season, Choo returned last year, recovered from his injury and achieving his 150th career home run in the major league. He finished the 2017 season with a career high of 22 home runs once again.

This season, Choo has already achieved one record in the major league: he has hit the most home runs among Asian players in major league history, 176 to Hideki Matsui’s 175.

Choo achieved the record on May 26, during the Rangers’ game against the Kansas City Royals, and has since beaten his own record with five more home runs.

BY KANG YOO-RIM, YONHAP [kang.yoorim@joongang.co.kr]