Rays’ Choi Ji-man blasts 1st homer of season, extends hitting streak to 4
SEOUL-- Choi Ji-man of the Tampa Bay Rays has gone deep for the first time this season, with the homer also extending his hitting streak to four games.
Choi smacked a three-run homer against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the second inning at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Tuesday (local time). Choi's home run, off Oakland starter Adam Oller's sinker, turned a 3-2 deficit for Tampa Bay into a 5-3 lead.
The no-doubter shot traveled 409 feet into the seats in right-center field and left Choi's bat at 104.8 miles per hour, according to Statcast.
Choi, who drew a walk in the first inning, picked up two more hits later in the game to fall a triple shy of a cycle. Choi doubled off reliever Jacob Lemoine in the fourth inning and hit a single against Adam Kolarek in the sixth.
With lefty reliever Kirby Snead on for the Athletics in the seventh, right-handed batting Yandy Diaz pinch hit for Choi and took over at first base, too. Choi finished the day 3-for-3 with three RBIs and a run scored.
The Rays blew their lead and needed two runs in the bottom 10th for a 9-8 win.
In five games this season, Choi is batting .615 (8-for-13) with a home run and five RBIs. Thanks to his four walks, Choi has an on-base percentage of .706. His slugging percentage is at an even 1.000.
Choi hit 11 homers last year while being limited to 83 games due to assorted injuries. He went just 2-for-18 in spring training this year but has come out of the gate wielding a hot bat in the regular season.
Source: Yonhap News Agency