Yang Hyun-jong (KIA Tigers) was hit hard for the second straight game. The top-ranked SSG Landers won a thrilling one-run victory for the second straight game, while the LG Twins traded home runs with the Kiwoom Heroes to force extra innings but couldn’t decide the game.
KIA lost 9-8 at home to the SSG Landers in Gwangju on July 7, suffering a second straight one-run loss as ace Yang Hyun-jong, a “must-win” card, was unexpectedly hit by a pitch.
After giving up the most runs of his career on nine hits (one home run) and two walks in two innings against the Lotte Giants on June 2, Yang struggled again today, giving up seven runs on 11 hits in 4⅓ innings with two walks and three strikeouts.
It was the worst start to June for the right-hander, who has a 22.74 ERA through two games (16 runs in 6 1/3 innings). Yang has now lost two straight games since earning his third win of the season and 162nd career win on May 27 against the Gwangju LG Twins. It also ended a nine-game winning streak against SK (SSG’s predecessor) that began on Aug. 11, 2018, against Munhak.
On the day, KIA took a two-run lead in the first inning with back-to-back home runs by Socrates Brito and Choi Hyung-woo, but gave up consecutive singles to Choi Ji-hoon, Choi Jung, and Oh Tae-gon in the third inning to cut the deficit to two runs at 5-3, and Socrates again hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the third inning to cut the deficit to two runs at 5-3, but gave up three runs on four consecutive hits in the top of the fourth inning to suffer a second defeat.
In the top of the fifth, Yang Hyun-jong gave up two more runs on RBI singles to SSG’s Oh Tae-gon and Kim Min-sik.
After that, KIA and SSG exchanged runs but were unable to turn the tide further. In particular, KIA got the same two-run comeback from SSG closer Seo Jin-yong as the previous day, but they couldn’t get over the final hurdle and had to endure a one-run loss for the second consecutive game.
SSG didn’t change a single starter on the day, operating with nine men, but still managed to pound out 13 hits, including a multi-hit performance from Choi Ji-hoon Choi Jeong Guillermo Heredia Otaegon.
High school graduate Lee Ri-eun pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn his first career win, while closer Seo Jin-yong became the first to earn his 20th save with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, raising his ERA from zero (0.71) to 1.03.
The KT Wiz beat the Lotte Giants 3-2 in 10 innings in a resignation game to win their first four-game series since April 26 and move into a tie for eighth place with the Kiwoom Heroes.
The game was a back-and-forth affair with Uhm Sang-baek and Charlie Barnes going head-to-head on the mound.
With Uhm going seven innings, three hits, four strikeouts, and one run (no earned), and Barnes going seven innings, six hits, eight strikeouts, and two runs (one earned), it was hard to tell who was better. Unsurprisingly, neither team was able to capitalize on their chances, and the game went into extra innings when Lotte, trailing 1-2, tied the game at 2-2 in the eighth on Kim Min-seok’s game-winning single to right field.
The game was decided in the 10th inning.
KT scored the game-winning run on a leadoff double to right-center by Moon Sang-chul and a sacrifice bunt by Lee Sang-ho, who scored from third on a wild pitch by Lotte pitcher Kim Do-gyu.
Lotte suffered its second three-game loss of the season, falling four games behind first-place SSG and 2.5 games behind second-place LG.
In Gocheok, LG Twins and Kiwoom Heroes were unable to settle for a 5-5 tie after 12 extra innings.
Trailing 1-3 in the top of the eighth inning, LG appeared to be on the verge of victory when Park Dong-won hit a two-run homer to left field to tie the game at 3-3, and then again in the bottom of the 12th inning when Park hit a two-run double to make it 5-3.
However, Kiwoom tied the game dramatically at 5-5 in the bottom of the 12th after Lee Jung-hoo walked and pinch-hitter Kim Soo-hwan hit a two-run homer to left field.
Park Dong-won went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs, while Lee Jung-hoo went 3-for-3 with three walks and six strikeouts, including a three-run homer (No. 6), to raise his batting average to .290 and show that he has fully regained his hitting touch.
With runners on first and second in the bottom of the 12th inning of extra innings, Lee drew a walk and scored on a wild pitch in the first “brother-in-law” showdown against LG closer Ko Woo-seok.
The Doosan Bears secured their second straight win with a 6-3 come-from-behind victory over the Hanwha Eagles in Jamsil. 메이저놀이터
Doosan fell behind 1-2 in the sixth inning after being held to one run by Hanwha starter Moon Dong-joo, but in the bottom of the seventh inning after Moon was relieved, Yang Ji tied the game with an RBI double and Yang Seok-hwan followed with a two-run single with the bases loaded.
Moon Dong-joo pitched six innings of seven-hit ball, striking out five and allowing one run (unearned) in his second straight quality start, but bullpen arson cost him the win.
Meanwhile, in Daegu, the NC Dinos rode a strong pitching performance from Lee Yong-jun to a 4-0 sweep of the Samsung Lions, avenging a loss the day before.