‘Chaotic third inning’ LG starters hold up, Samsung infield crumbles

Korean baseball team LG has won three straight games to move into first place.

LG won 3-2 at home against Samsung in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Thursday. Despite conceding two runs in the top of the third inning, the team scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to pull off the upset. LG’s recent three-game winning streak brings their record to 36 wins, 23 losses, and two ties.

Samsung got off to a good start. With runners on second and third in the top of the third inning, Jose Pirela lined a double to left field off left-hander Lee Sang-young to give Samsung a two-run lead.

Sang-young, who made his first start since being discharged from the army on Dec. 12, was shaken up when he walked Kang Min-ho with a pitch to the body, but he got Kim Dong-yeop to fly out to center field to end the inning.

After scoring two runs in the top of the second, LG answered right back in the bottom of the third. After a leadoff single by Lee Jae-won and a sacrifice bunt by Shin Min-jae, Samsung’s fielder’s choice put runners on first and second with no outs. Samsung third baseman Kim Young-woong caught the bunt and tried to throw to first base, but froze when starter David Buchanan pointed to second base and threw the ball late.

LG took advantage of the opportunity and scored a run on an RBI single by Hong Chang-ki. A failed bunt put runners on first and second, but Kim Hyun-soo singled to tie the game at 2-2.

LG then scored a run on another fielding error by the Samsung infield. With runners on first and second, Austin Dean hit a grounder to shortstop, but Samsung’s second baseman Kim Ji-chan, who was trying to force out the runner at second, threw the ball away at first base. In the meantime, Moon Sung-joo, the second baseman, crossed home plate and scored the tying run.

LG used all of its relievers to preserve the one-run lead after starter Lee Sang-young gave up two runs in four innings. From the fifth inning on, Yoo Young-chan, Jeong Woo-young, Kim Jin-sung, and Park Myung-geun each pitched a scoreless inning. 안전놀이터

In the top of the ninth inning, left-hander Ham Deok-ju put runners on first and second with no outs after a walk and an error by first baseman Austin, but Kim Hyun-joon’s sacrifice bunt allowed him to throw to third base to cut down the runner at second. With the bases loaded, right-hander Baek Seung-hyun struck out Kang Min-ho, the No. 4 hitter, and got Kim Dong-yeop to fly out to shortstop to end the game.

It was the second straight one-run loss for Samsung due to poor defense. Although it didn’t lead to an unearned run, Kim Young-woong looked shaky in the sixth inning when he missed a foul fly ball from Austin.

Starter Buchanan pitched seven innings, striking out six, walking four and giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks, but suffered his fourth loss of the season. Samsung dropped to seventh place, half a game behind Kiwoom, who beat KIA earlier in the day.

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