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Korea’s overseas sluggers put in mixed performances

Choo Shin-soo. (Yonhap News)
Choo Shin-soo. (Yonhap News)
Korean baseball players abroad had a mixed week, with sluggers hitting homeruns or recording no-hitters.

Korean slugger Choo Shin-soo hit his first homer of the season, giving Cleveland the lead and ultimately a 6-3 win on Friday at its home field.

The Korean outfielder also played phenomenal defense, chasing after a possible homer and making a leap for a finishing catch before slamming into the fence.

Choo’s performance against defending American League Champions, the Texas Rangers, came after a 0-for-14 hitless slump and missing six games with a hamstring injury.

The homerun could be exactly what Choo needed, as the Busan native is struggling with a career low OPS of 0.665, down from his season best of 0.885 in 2010.

Closer to home, Lee Dae-ho of the Orix Buffaloes did not fare well on Saturday’s game against the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham with an 0-for-4 hitless streak, dropping his batting average to 0.238. Saturday’s game had ended the former Korean MVP hitting streak where he was 6 for 20 in the previous five games.

During his stint at home with the Lotte Giants in 2011, the hulking slugger had a 0.309 batting average and a 1.011 OPS.

Lee went over to the Japanese league after signing a two-year contract worth 700 million yen ($9 million).

By Robert Lee (robert@heraldcorp.com)
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