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Choo Hits Homer Off of Nat`l League`s Top Pitcher

Posted March. 18, 2010 10:47,   


Slugger Choo Shin-soo of the Cleveland Indians has hit his first homer in this year`s exhibition season.

The starting right fielder and No. 3 hitter rocked a solo round-tripper in a 7-1 win over the San Francisco Giants at Goodyear Ballpark in Arizona yesterday.

Choo, 28, hit the homer in his first at-bat in the bottom of the first inning. The Indians have played seven exhibition games this season.

His homer came off of righthander Tim Lincecum, 26, who is considered the best pitcher in the National League. Debuting in 2007, Lincecum went 18-5 in 2008 and 15-7 last season to clinch the Cy Young Award for two consecutive years.

With a fastball reaching up to 160 kilometers per hour, he has also topped the National League in strikeouts for two consecutive years.

Choo, who plays in the American League, pushed his bat to hit a fastball off of Linscecum’s fourth pitch, sending the ball over the left fence.

The outfielder also drove in two runs. He hit a grounder to first base with runners at second and third with one out, bringing home the runner on third in the bottom of the third.

Choo thus accounted for two of the four runs Lincecum allowed in the pitcher’s four innings.

Choo flied out in the fifth before being replaced by Austin Kearns at the top of the sixth. The Korean went 1-3 to raise his exhibition batting average to .350 (7-20), and has driven in five runs.

The figures suggest a better batting performance in this season’s exhibition period than in last season, fueling expectations for an outstanding performance. Choo hit .208 (5-24) in seven exhibition games last year.

In the regular season last year, Choo hit .300 with 20 homers, 20 stolen bases, and 86 RBIs.