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Rays' Choi Ji-man hits 1st homer in 10 games

Sept. 14, 2022 - 11:54 By Yonhap
In this Getty Images photo, Choi Ji-man of the Tampa Bay Rays (R) embraces teammate Jose Siri after hitting a solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays in the top of the third inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Rogers Centre in Toronto on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Choi Ji-man has gone deep for the first time in September.

Choi hit a solo homer against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre in Toronto on Tuesday (local time), giving his team a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning. The Blue Jays, though, rallied for a 7-2 victory for a split of the day-night doubleheaders between the American League East rivals.

Choi drove a hanging slider from Toronto starter Alek Manoah and sent it into the upper deck in the right field.

It was Choi's first home run since Aug. 26. The ball left his bat at 103 miles per hour and traveled 374 feet.

Choi has struggled mightily in recent weeks and gradually lost his playing time. He came into this game batting only .129/.226/.208 in the second half with two home runs in 33 games. Choi spent the majority of the first half batting third or cleanup, but he batted eighth in Tuesday's game -- the third time he's done that in September.

After the homer, Choi drew walks in his next two trips to the plate, in the top fifth and again in the top seventh.

Choi was lifted to begin the bottom seventh as second baseman Jonathan Aranda took over at first base.

The Rays had a 2-1 lead going into the bottom seventh, but the Blue Jays exploded for four runs in that frame and tacked on two more in the eighth for the victory. (Yonhap)