Choo hits for the cycle as Rangers rout Rockies 9-0
DENVER (AP) Shin-Soo Choo was simply concentrating on having one more good at-bat. When his line drive went over center fielder Charlie Blackmon's head, Choo found himself chugging for third base and into the Texas Rangers' record book.
Choo's leadoff triple in the ninth inning completed the cycle, and Matt Harrison earned his first win in 14 months as the Rangers routed the Colorado Rockies 9-0 Tuesday night.
Delino DeShields had a career-high four hits and Prince Fielder homered for the Rangers, who won for only the third time in 13 games.
''A lot better than (Monday) night,'' Texas manager Jeff Banister said.
Choo, who had three RBIs, doubled in the second inning, homered in the fourth and singled in the fifth. When he came to the plate in the ninth he knew he had a chance to get the cycle with a triple against left-hander Rex Brothers. He drove Brothers' 92 mph fastball off the wall in center and headed for third with his teammates cheering him on.
''It's not an easy pitcher on the mound,'' Choo said. ''I hit it well and (thought) maybe he can catch that. I'm not thinking about it before contact.''
It was the eighth cycle in franchise history and first since Alex Rios did it Sept. 23, 2013, against Houston.
Boston Red Sox All-Star Brock Holt was the only other major leaguer to hit for the cycle this season, on June 16 against Atlanta.
DeShields needed a home run to match Choo's accomplishment when he came to bat in the ninth, but he struck out against reliever Rafael Betancourt.
''I was talking to (Banister) and I said, `It would be kind of cool if we both get it,''' DeShields said. ''He said, `Don't try to. If it happens, it happens.' My last at-bat I should have taken a chance; I didn't. I was beating myself up about it. We got the win. That's all that matters.''
Harrison (1-1) had not won since beating the Rockies on May 8, 2014. Injuries limited him to six starts from 2013-14 and he didn't make his 2015 debut until July 8.
''The first time I stepped on the mound it was an accomplishment,'' Harrison said. ''Tonight was a confidence booster but also showed I can still pitch here. That's huge for me.''
He scattered seven hits over six innings and worked out of several jams. Harrison allowed a leadoff double to Nolan Arenado in the fourth but stranded him at third with a double-play grounder to end the inning.
The Rockies had runners on first and third with two outs in the fifth, but Choo made a sliding catch on Troy Tulowitzki's sinking liner in right to end the threat.
Choo's catch helped stop Tulowitzki's streak of reaching base safely at 41 games. It was the second-longest in team history.
''You have the streak, you get to those third and fourth at-bats the focus is still there, even in a blowout,'' Tulowitzki said.
The Rangers built a comfortable lead against struggling Rockies starter Kyle Kendrick (3-11). Choo had an RBI double in a three-run second and led off the fourth with his 12th homer to make it 4-0. Choo drove in another run in the fifth, and an error by reliever Yohan Flande allowed Elvis Andrus to score to make it 6-0.
Fielder's 15th home run in the sixth gave Texas a 7-0 cushion.
The Rockies were shut out at home for the first time this season.
''You've done some yard work if you put up a zero in this ballpark, especially against this ballclub,'' Banister said. ''They're really dangerous up and down the lineup and to hold them to no runs tonight is really a testament to the competitive attitude of Matt Harrison.''
Fielder's single in the eighth gave him 40 multihit games this season, tops in the majors. He is hitting .341, second in the AL behind Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera.
Rangers: LHP Derek Holland (left shoulder strain) threw a bullpen session. It was his first time throwing since going on the 60-day disabled list April 11. Holland threw 35 pitches and plans to play catch Wednesday. ''We'll see how he feels and make a plan from there,'' Banister said.
Rockies: OF Corey Dickerson (left plantar fasciitis) was scheduled to play seven innings for Triple-A Albuquerque. ... RHP David Hale (left groin strain) threw a 25-pitch bullpen session. It was his second since going on the 15-day DL on July 10.
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (0-1, 5.40 ERA) will make his second start since having Tommy John surgery last season. Perez pitched five innings in his season debut against Houston on Friday.
Rockies: LHP Jorge De La Rosa (6-4, 4.30) is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two career starts against the Rangers.