is congratulated by his teammates after hitting his first homer as a Mariner. (Brandon Wade/AP)
It took 55 and 54 at-bats, respectively, but Robinson Cano and Shin-Soo Choo are on the board with their first homers of 2014, and their first for their new teams. Unsurprisingly, both homers came in the offense-friendly confines of Texas' Globe Life Park. Choo's homer, a solo blast, came first, as he punched a screaming line drive to rightfield off a hanging changeup from Erasmo Ramirez to make it 4-0 Texas in the bottom of the second. Cano wasted no time answering, also lining a ball into the rightfield stands off Texas' Tanner Scheppers; that three-run shot cut the Rangers' lead to 4-3.
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Thursday's game was the end of a long power drought for both players. For Choo, his 54-at-bat streak without a homer was his second-longest homerless streak to open a season; he went his first 17 games and 67 at-bats in 2012 before picking up a home run. As for Cano, this current streak was the third-longest in his MLB career to begin a season. The second baseman went his first 62 at-bats in his rookie season in 2005 without a round-tripper, and then went 68 at-bats to start 2007 before collecting a homer. Though Choo had managed to post a .418 OBP going into Thursday to offset his power outage, Cano had struggled to begin his Mariners career, with a .278/.344/.315 line, five RBI and only two extra-base hits to open the season.
Perhaps unsurprisingly in a game started by Erasmo Ramirez and Tanner Scheppers, both offenses followed the leads of Choo and Cano, with Seattle and Texas scoring a combined 14 runs through the game's first six innings, including a six-run outburst by Seattle in the third. In the end, though, it was Choo's new team beating Cano's old team, 8-6. Cano's homer was his only hit in five trips to the plate, while Choo went 2-for-5 with the homer, a single and two strikeouts.