Choo triples in 9th for Rangers' 8th cycle
DENVER -- Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo has been looking for something to boost his sagging confidence. Hitting for the cycle might be just what he needs.
Choo did that on Tuesday night at Coors Field, completing his work with a ninth-inning triple off reliever Rex Brothers in the Rangers' 9-0 victory over the Rockies.
"I'm excited," Choo said. "I had four days off at the All-Star break, and that was a mental break. I'm feeling fetter. My confidence was coming back."
Choo was 3-for-4 with a double and a home run when he came to bat in the ninth. This time, he crushed a high drive to deep center that hit off the wall and away from center fielder Charlie Blackmon. That allowed Choo to race to third for the eighth cycle in Rangers history and the 13th in the history of Coors Field.
"I wasn't thinking about it, because [Brothers] is not an easy pitcher," Choo said. "A left-handed pitcher with pretty good stuff. I just tried to hit the ball hard. I hit it well, but I thought [Blackmon] might catch it."
Manager Jeff Banister said the Rangers were aware of Choo's chance for the cycle when he came to the plate.
"He has had some challenges this year, and he has answered a lot of them," Banister said. "To see him end the night the way he has, his teammates cheering him on and yelling for him to go to third, it was great to see."
The Rangers had one more cycle drama. Delino DeShields came up to the plate after Choo with one out in the ninth needing a home run for the cycle. The Rangers had a chance to be the first team in Major League history to have two players hit for the cycle but DeShields, after getting ahead, 2-0, against reliever Rafael Bettancourt, ended up striking out.
"I was thinking about not trying to hit a home run," DeShields said. "Every time I try to hit a home run, I always get myself out. I came up with an approach, but when I got ahead, 2-0, I should have swung at [the next pitch] and see what happens. It was a good pitch, and I took it. After that, I was kicking myself."
Choo drove in the Rangers' first run in the second against Rockies starter Kyle Kendrick. After Elvis Andrus led off with a single, Choo ripped a line drive through the Rockies' right-side shift and into the gap for an RBI double.
Choo gave the Rangers a 4-0 lead when he led off the fourth with a home run, his third in 13 career at-bats against Kendrick. He added an RBI single in the fifth, leaving him a triple short of the cycle.
Choo grounded out in his fourth at-bat but had one more chance leading off the ninth.
The last Rangers cycle was Alex Rios, done Sept. 23, 2013. Choo had come within one hit of a cycle on seven previous occasions. Only one other Korean player (Hee-Seop Choi) had even done that once, with Choo the first Korean to complete the cycle.