KT wins 3 consecutively, LG loses 3 consecutively, 4.5-game gap
Second-place Leader LG loses three straight games while KT wins three straight, leaving a 4.5-game margin between the two teams.
The race for the top spot in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) has rekindled as second-place KT Wiz won three straight games and first-place LG Twins lost three in a row.
The gap between LG and KT, which was 7.5 games before the start of the three-game weekend series (Sept. 24-27), has shrunk to 4.5 games.
LG lost 3-5 to the NC Dinos in a visiting game of the KBO Baseball 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL at NC Park in Changwon on the 27th.
Both teams played in chaotic conditions.
Umpire Yoon Sang-won, who was lightly hit in the foot by NC’s Park Gun-woo’s bat in the ninth inning of the previous day’s game, missed the game.
An infield hit is an infield hit if the ball touches the umpire first, not the fielders.
LG lost the game in the bottom of the ninth inning after Park Gun-woo’s infield hit in the game on the 26th, and there were posts online predicting umpire Yoon Sang-won’s attack.
The KBO Umpires Committee decided not to use umpire Yoon Sang-won, who was initially scheduled to officiate on the 27th.
The game began in a solemn atmosphere with police inspecting the ballpark, and in the bottom of the first inning, with runners on first and third, LG starter Im Chan-kyu hit Park Gun-woo in the head with a direct hit and was ejected for a head shot.
After Lim left the mound with the bases loaded in the first inning, Choi Dong-hwan, who came on in a hurry, threw a pitch that Jason Martin pushed away.
LG tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third inning with runners on first and third on Shin Min-jae’s sacrifice fly to center field.
Shin’s hit went between the center fielder and second baseman, and NC second baseman Park Min-woo made a dynamic catch.
First baseman Hong Chang-ki ran to second base, turned and ran to first base, and third baseman Park Hae-min reached home on a ‘retouch’ after Park’s throw.
Park Min-woo threw to first base to catch Hong Chang-ki, who did not return home.
NC expected an inning change without LG scoring, but the umpires agreed and ruled that Park Hae-min had reached home before the first baseman was out.
After requesting a video review, NC head coach Kang Myung-ho appealed the call and was ordered to leave the game when it was not overturned.
Despite the coach’s absence, the NC players showed their desire to win.
With runners on second and third in the bottom of the third inning, Yoon Hyung-jun hit a sacrifice fly to left field to make it 2-1, and in the top of the fourth inning, Park Min-woo hit a two-run double to left field with runners on second and third to make it 4-2.
After LG got a run back in the top of the sixth on Austin Dean’s RBI double, NC got a run back in the bottom of the sixth on Park’s RBI single up the middle with two outs. Park finished the day 4-for-5 with three RBIs.
LG cut the deficit to 3-5 in the top of the eighth when pinch-hitter Kim Hyun-soo singled to right field, putting runners on first and second with one out.
However, Shin Min-jae was tagged out at home on Austin’s grounder to third, and Moon Bo-kyung was retired on a grounder in front of the second baseman to end the inning.
KT defeated the visiting Lotte Giants 2-1 in Busan.
KT, which was in 10th place (18 wins, 30 losses and two draws) until June 5, has since reeled off 44 wins and 17 losses to move into second place and now threaten leader LG.
William Cuevas, who KT manager Lee Kang-cheol has called a “rebounding force,” pitched eight innings of six-hit ball to earn his eighth win of the season.
KT took the lead in the top of the third inning when Ahn Chi-young doubled to left-center and Hwang Jae-gyun singled to left.
In the fourth inning, Oh Yoon-seok hit a triple to right-center and Shin Bon-ki followed with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Lotte manager Larry Sutton left the dugout after feeling dizzy, and assistant coach Lee Jong-woon took over.
Seventh-ranked Lotte lost its seventh straight game in the manager’s absence, further diminishing its chances of reaching the postseason.
The Kia Tigers extended their winning streak to four games with a 5-2 victory over the Hanwha Eagles at home in Gwangju, moving past the Doosan Bears into fifth place.
The game was headlined by a starting matchup between Rookie of the Year contenders Yoon Young-chul (KIA – 4 innings, 2 hits, 4 walks, 1 earned run) and Moon Dong-joo (Hanwha – 5 innings, 5 hits, 5 earned runs), but it was the veteran bats that really decided the game.
KIA’s Kim Sun-bin hit a two-run, tiebreaking double to left field with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
In the sixth, with runners on first and second after back-to-back singles to right by Kim Do-young and Na Sung-beom, 1983-born veteran Choi Hyung-woo hit a 153-kilometer-per-hour fastball from 2003-born Moon Dong-joo to left-center field for a game-winning two-run double.
It was Hanwha’s sixth straight loss.
In Daegu, the Samsung Lions defeated the Kiwoom Heroes 8-6.
Samsung starter Won Tae-in pitched seven innings of six-hit shutout ball to earn his sixth win of the season.
Leading 8-0, Samsung gave up six runs in the top of the eighth to Kiwoom, but held on for the win.
SSG Landers won 8-5 in extra innings against visiting Doosan in Jamsil.
SSG tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the eighth with a solo home run by Choi, but in the bottom of the ninth, reliever Seo Jin-yong gave up back-to-back singles to Jung Soo-bin and Kim Jae-ho to put runners on first and third, and then gave up the game-winning sacrifice fly to Jose Rojas to force extra innings.
Seo Jin-yong, the No. 1 reliever who had saved all 34 of his previous chances, blew his first blown save of the season in his 35th opportunity.
SSG regained the lead in the top of the 10th when Kim Chan-hyung led off with a double, and Jeon Eui-san followed with a single to left-center field.
With two outs and runners on second and third, Kim Sung-hyun drove in the winning run with a double to left center.
Seo Jin-yong, who also pitched the 10th inning, 먹튀검증 earned the win instead of a save.