SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Yonhap) — Tampa Bay Rays’ South Korean player Choi Ji-man went hitless in a World Series loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The South Korean first baseman went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts as the Rays fell 6-2 to the Dodgers in Game 3 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on Friday (local time).
The Dodgers now lead the series 2-1.
Choi is batting 1-for-7 with three strikeouts so far in the World Series. He’s the first South Korean position player to appear in the World Series.
The teams will go back at it for Game 4 at 7:08 p.m. Saturday in Texas, and 9:08 a.m. Sunday in South Korea. Globe Life Field will host every game of the best-of-seven series, as part of Major League Baseball’s response to eliminate traveling during the coronavirus pandemic.
Choi got the start against the right-handed fireballer Walker Buehler and batted in his usual cleanup spot. Leading off the bottom of the second with the Rays down 1-0, Choi struck out looking at an outside fastball clocked at 97.3 miles per hour.
Choi was the first Rays batter in the fifth, with his club now trailing 5-0. And Buehler struck out Choi again, as the batter swung and missed on another outside fastball, this time at 97.1 mph.
Choi led off the bottom of the seventh, now facing reliever Blake Treinen, and the Rays down 6-1. Choi put the ball in play for the first time in the game, though he grounded out to second baseman Chris Taylor, who was playing in shallow right field in a shift.
Choi got his final plate appearance with two outs in the ninth and flied out to left field against reliever Kenley Jansen.
Choi had a better day with his glove than his bat.
He wasted no time flashing his leather at first base. In the first, Choi did his patented full split to snag a short hop from shortstop Willy Adames to retire the speedy leadoff hitter Mookie Betts, while also giving social media zealots another memorable moment.
In the fourth, Choi made a jumping grab on a high throw from third baseman Joey Wendle and tagged out Corey Seager on his way down to end the inning.
Choi pulled off a similar play to end the top of the eighth, this time taking a wild throw from Adames with a leap and getting the tag on Betts.
Choi may start Game 4 on the bench against the Dodgers’ left-handed starter Julio Urias. Choi, who bats left-handed and has struggled against southpaws, was also held out of the starting lineup against lefty Clayton Kershaw in Game 1.