Choi Ji-man gets on base four times in ALDS Game 4

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Choi Ji-man gets on base four times in ALDS Game 4

Tampa Bay Rays’ Korean infielder Choi Ji-man has had another productive day at the plate in postseason, reaching base four times to help his club stay alive in October.

Choi went 1-for-2 with three walks and a run scored, as the Rays defeated the Houston Astros 4-1 in Game 4 of the American League Division Series (ALDS) at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Tuesday, local time.

The Rays have won two straight games at home after dropping the first two in Houston. The best-of-five series will now be decided in Game 5 back in Houston on Thursday.

The Rays put up a three-spot in the bottom of the first inning against Houston starter Justin Verlander, who fired seven innings of one-hit ball in Game 1 last Saturday.

After Tommy Pham’s one-out solo home run in the first, Choi, batting third and playing first base, drew a walk and came around to score on Travis d’Arnaud’s single. A Joey Wendle double put the Rays ahead 3-0.

Choi worked out another walk against Verlander in the second inning, though he was stranded at first this time.

The Rays went up 4-0 in the fourth, courtesy of Willy Adames’ solo home run. And with two outs in the frame, Choi walked for the third time against Verlander, taking four straight balls after going down 0-2 in the count.

And Choi was the last batter Verlander faced in the loss. Verlander didn’t walk any other Rays batter in this game, and he hadn’t given up that many free passes since April.

Choi struck out swinging in the sixth but singled in the eighth for only his second hit of the series.

Choi made a key defensive play at the top of the sixth. After George Springer led off that inning with a single, Choi caught a line drive by Michael Brantley and stepped on the first base bag to complete the rally-snuffing double play.

Yonhap

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