(MHN Sports Reporter Lee Kyu-won) While baseball’s LG Twins have won three straight games to pull within half a game of leaders SSG Landers, the Lotte Giants, who are 3-7 in their last 10 games, slipped back to fourth place after being swept by the Hanwha Eagles at home.
LG (36 wins, 2 draws, 23 losses, 0.610 win percentage) formed a two-way tie with SSG (36 wins, 1 draw, 22 losses, 0.621) with a 3-2 home win over the Samsung Lions in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Stadium on Thursday.
NC Dinos (32 W, 25 L, 0.561) moved into third place, three games behind LG, Lotte (31 W, 25 L, 0.554) is fourth, and the fifth-place Doosan Bears (29 W, 1 D, 27 L, 0.518) have a 3.5-game lead over the sixth-place KIA Tigers (25 W, 30 L, 0.455).
The seventh-place Kiwoom Heroes (27-1, 0.443) are on a four-game winning streak and looking to leapfrog into the mid-table, while the eighth-place Samsung Lions (25-33, 0.431), ninth-place KT WIZ (23-2, 0.411), and 10th-place Hanwha (22-2, 0.393) are hovering at the bottom.
Samsung took the early lead in the game.
Samsung took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning when Jose Pirela hit a two-run double down the left field line with runners on second and third.
LG, however, answered right back after a pitching change.
Lee Jae-won singled up the middle and Shin Min-jae drew a fielder’s choice to put runners on first and second with no outs, but Hong Chang-ki hit a single to right to bring in a run.
One inning later, Kim Hyun-soo tied the game at 2-2 with a single up the middle, and LG took advantage of an error by Samsung second baseman Kim Ji-chan to score from first base on Austin Dean’s infield grounder to make it 3-2.
LG had the bases loaded in the top of the ninth when Ham Deok-ju faltered, but right-hander Baek Seung-hyun came on in relief and struck out Kang Min-ho and got Kim Dong-yeop to fly out to shortstop to end the game.
Seung-hyun Baek earned his first career save.
Samsung’s Buchanan pitched seven innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts, but was saddled with the loss due to defensive miscues and a silent batting lineup.
■ Hanwha, No. 11 Moon Hyun-bin hits his first career home run…Fourth-year Han Seung-ju gets his first win.
In Busan, last-place Hanwha swept the busy third-place Lotte Giants, 8-4.
Hanwha jumped on Lotte starter Dan Straily early on.
Hanwha opened the scoring in the first inning when Chae Eun-sung doubled to left center with runners on second and third, and Kim In-hwan and Kim Tae-yeon followed with back-to-back singles to make it 3-0.
In the second, Noh Si-hwan hit a two-run home run into the left-center field stands, and in the third, rookie Moon Hyun-bin hit a solo shot, his first professional home run, to extend the lead to 6-0.
In the top of the sixth, Jung Eun-won, who led off with a walk, advanced one base on a wild pitch and a walk.
Lotte scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth on three hits and two walks, including a double by Noh Jin-hyuk, but could get no closer.
Han Seung-ju, Hanwha’s second pitcher, pitched 3⅓ innings of one-hit ball to record his first win in four years.
■ Park Byung-ho hits walk-off home run as kt defeats SSG, snaps 3-game losing streak
The KT Wiz swept the SSG Landers to end a three-game losing streak.
KT pounded out 12 hits and drew 11 walks, including a grand slam by Park Byung-ho, in a 14-4 victory over SSG at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on Thursday.
With the win, ninth-ranked KT snapped a three-game losing streak and moved to within one game of the Samsung Lions, who slipped to eighth.
The game was decided in the first inning due to severe pitching difficulties by SSG starter Jong-hoon Park.
KT took advantage of Jong-hoon’s inability to throw strikes in the first inning, drawing three walks to load the bases before Park Byung-ho hit a grand slam over the right field fence for a 4-0 lead.
It was Byung-ho Park’s sixth home run of the season and eighth grand slam of his career.
SSG got one run back in the bottom of the first inning on a Guillermo Heredia RBI single.
However, KT took a 5-1 lead in the top of the second inning when Kim Sang-soo singled to left field with two outs.
In the next at-bat, KT loaded the bases with two walks and Jang Sung-woo hit a two-run double to center field to make it 8-1.
SSG responded with a two-run homer by Kang Jin-sung in the bottom of the sixth and a solo shot by Choi Ju-hwan in the bottom of the seventh, trailing 3-11.
However, KT added two runs in the top of the eighth before Anthony Alford hit a solo home run to left field in the top of the ninth.
Park Jong-hoon was pulled after giving up eight runs on five hits and six walks in three innings.
■ Kiwoom, winners of four in a row, hover in mid-table…Choi Won-tae 1 run in 7 innings
The Kiwoom Heroes defeated the KIA Tigers 2-1 at home in Gocheok Dome.
With their fourth straight win, Kiwoom moved up one spot to seventh place, while sixth-place KIA lost their third straight game.
Kiwoom improved its win percentage to 8-10 in 18 one-point games this season.
That means they’ve had to put a lot of focus and stamina into their games, which has resulted in more disappointing losses than thrilling wins.
KIA took an early 1-0 lead in the third 토토사이트 inning when Kim Kyu-sung and Choi Won-joon singled to put runners on first and third with Socrates Brito’s infield grounder bringing home the third baseman.
Kiwoom tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning when Lee Jung-hoo tripled to left-center and Addison Russell singled to center field.
In the sixth, Kim Hye-sung tripled to right-center and scored on Lee Jung-hoo’s sacrifice fly to make it 2-1.
KIA was unable to score in the top of the ninth inning with runners on first and second base.
Kiwoom starter Choi Won-tae pitched through the seventh inning with eight scattered hits and one run.
■ Martin’s final hit…NC holds off Doosan for third place in rain-shortened game
NC pulled off a thrilling come-from-behind victory after a five-hour rain delay.
Jason Martin hit an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 3-3 tie against Doosan at NC Park in Changwon on Thursday to secure a thrilling 5-4 victory.
With the win, NC regained third place in the standings two days after overtaking the Lotte Giants, who lost earlier in the day.
The game in Changwon, which was suspended for 78 minutes due to a sudden downpour, was a back-and-forth affair with Doosan taking the lead and NC chasing it down.
Doosan took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Kim Jae-ho led off with a single to center and scored on Kim Dae-rae’s triple to left-center and a subsequent grounder.
NC got a run back in the bottom of the third when Kim Ju-won hit a solo home run.
Doosan scored a run in the top of the fourth on a double by Park Kye-beom to make it 3-1, but NC tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth on a solo home run by Jason Martin followed by back-to-back doubles by Do Tae-hoon and Park Se-hyuk.
Doosan regained the lead in the top of the fifth when Kang Seung-ho led off with a walk and scored on a subsequent grounder and wild pitch to make it 4-3.
However, the tenacious NC tied the game for the second time in the bottom of the seventh when Park Min-woo lined a single to left field with runners on first and second base.
Doosan had a crucial chance in the top of the eighth inning to tie the game, but failed to score a single run as the bases were loaded.
After escaping a big inning, NC loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth with Musa Man-roo, but Martin hit a one-out single over the second baseman’s head to end the game.
NC closer Lee Yong-chan, making his first appearance since being sent down to the second team due to a “drinking binge,” pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the win.