ARLINGTON, Texas (Yonhap) ― As he wrapped up a disappointing first half of the Major League Baseball season with the Texas Rangers on Sunday, South Korean outfielder Choo Shin-soo said he will try to start the latter half from scratch.
Choo made an appearance as a pinch hitter and ended up going 0 for 2 against the Los Angeles Angels, as the Rangers fell 10-7.
The Rangers, a trendy preseason pick to contend for the World Series, are entering the All-Star break with the worst record in the majors at 38-57, which leaves them last among four clubs in the American League West and 21 games behind the division-leading Oakland Athletics.
Choo finished the first half batting just .242 with nine homers and 33 RBIs in 90 games. His on-base percentage, which was well above .400 through May, now sits at .362.
|The Texas Rangers’ Choo Shin-soo finished the first half with a .242 batting average. (AFP-Yonhap)|
Choo’s struggles at the plate have had much to do with the Rangers’ woes. He signed a seven-year, $130 million contract with Texas in December, after a productive season with the Cincinnati Reds.
In 2013, Choo was among the National League leaders in on-base percentage, runs scored and walks, and enjoyed his third 20-20 season with 21 homers and 20 steals.
The Rangers counted on him to be a force at the top of their vaunted lineup, but Choo has yet to live up to expectations.
Choo suffered through a June to forget, batting just .179 and getting on base at a .278 clip during the month.
“Whether it’s myself personally or the team, it’s been a hugely disappointing first half,” Choo said. “Some veterans have held players-only meetings to try to turn things around, but they haven’t worked out.”
Choo had a decent start to the season but sprained his left ankle in late April when he stepped hard on first base trying to beat out an infield single.
When asked if his ankle has been a reason for his sluggish performance, Choo said, “Whatever I say now will be an excuse. The pain has mostly subsided but I still feel some discomfort.”
Buchholz strikes out career-best 12
HOUSTON (AP) ― A pair of Red Sox from Texas sure made things tough on the Houston Astros in their return to the Lone Star State.
Clay Buchholz allowed three hits and struck out a career-high 12 in his fifth career shutout in Boston’s 11-0 win over Houston on Sunday.
Brock Holt had a career-best five hits, including a leadoff homer, to help the Red Sox to their fourth victory in five games heading into the All-Star break.
Buchholz went to high school 90 minutes from Houston in Lumberton, Texas, and Holt grew up in Stephenville, which is about 80 miles from Fort Worth.
“I definitely had a lot of people out here to watch the game, so that makes it even better,” Buchholz said. “Obviously, a win to end the first half is a good thing, too.”
All of the hits Buchholz (4-5) allowed were singles, and he didn’t walk a batter in his first shutout since June 2, 2013, against the Yankees.
Chris Carter extended his career-high hitting streak to nine games with a single with one out in the fourth. Buchholz sailed through the rest of the game, retiring his last 17 batters.
“The changeup was best that it has been all year,” Buchholz said. “The cutter had good bite to it. Whenever you’ve got four or five pitches working, it’s hard for a hitter to sit on any one of them.”
Herrera, Brewers end skid
MILWAUKEE (AP) ― The end of a seven-game losing streak lifted the spirits of the Milwaukee Brewers.
An 11-2 win Sunday over the St. Louis Cardinals gave manager Ron Roenicke’s team a one-game lead in the NL Central at the All-Star break. A team that has also had to cope with the death of shortstop Jean Segura’s 9-month-old son now gets a breather for a few days.
With Segura home on bereavement leave, Elian Herrera had a career-best five hits a day after being called up from the minors to take Segura’s roster spot. The offense tied a season high with 19 hits to back a strong seven-inning outing by starter Wily Peralta.
“Somebody had to step up. ... That’s huge for us, for everybody. It lets us go into the break like that and still in first place,” said Peralta (10-6), who allowed three hits and struck out five before departing after seven innings because of a minor leg cramp.
Like Segura, Peralta is from the Dominican Republic. The pitcher was heading home for the break, and he was planning to text Roenicke to let him know how Segura was doing.
Cleveland 3, Chicago White Sox 2
Cincinnati 6, Pittsburgh 3
NY Mets 9, Miami 1
Washington 10, Philadelphia 3
Tampa Bay 3, Toronto 0
Kansas City 5, Detroit 2
Atlanta 10, Chicago Cubs 7
San Francisco 8, Arizona 4
Oakland 4, Seattle 1
LA Dodgers 1, San Diego 0
Minnesota 13, Colorado 5
Baltimore 3, NY Yankees 1