As the autumnal equinox has passed, the battle for the mid-table position in fall baseball is heating up.
The fifth-place Doosan Bears (53 wins, 1 tie, 51 losses, 0.510) won three straight games against the Kiwoom Heroes to move within half a game of the fourth-place NC Dinos 온라인카지노(52 wins, 2 ties, 49 losses, 0.515), who lost to the SSG Landers earlier in the day.
The sixth-place KIA Tigers (49 wins, 2 ties, 50 losses, 0.495) maintained a 1.5-game lead over fifth-place Doosan with an upset win over second-place KT WIZ.
The seventh-place Lotte Giants (50 wins, 55 losses, 0.476) dropped their fourth straight game to LG on the day and are slipping out of the mid-table race.
The 2023 postseason is now narrowing down to a race between the top-ranked LG Twins (65 wins, 2 ties, 38 losses, 0.631) and second-place KT (59 wins, 2 ties, 47 losses, 0.557), SSG (57 wins, 1 tie, 46 losses, 0.553), as well as other mid-table teams such as NC, Doosan and KIA.
Doosan swept a midweek three-game series against Kiwoom to extend its winning streak to three games.
Doosan came from behind to win 8-6 against visiting Kiwoom in the Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League 2023 at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Thursday.
Despite starter Kim Dong-joo being pulled after giving up four runs in 1⅔ innings, Doosan got the win with the help of its bullpen and bats.
In particular, foreign-born hitter Jose Rojas went 4-for-5 with three doubles, one walk, five RBIs and three runs scored, including a leadoff double in the first inning, a two-run homer in the fifth and a wedge triple in the seventh.
It was one shy of a cycling hit (a single and a home run in the same game).
Yang, who returned to the starting lineup as a designated hitter after a 19-day absence, went 2-for-4.
Kiwoom pounded out 12 hits and eight walks, more than Doosan (nine hits and six walks), but was left stranded for the third straight game.
Kia’s Park Chan-ho, the hero of the come-from-behind win, runs for first base after hitting a two-run double with the bases loaded in the ninth inning. (Suwon=Yonhap)
■ KIA’s Park Chan-ho goes 2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs and three runs scored for ‘hope’ in fall baseball
Kia beat KT with two outs in the top of the ninth inning on Chan-ho Park’s game-winning hit to revive its hopes of reaching the postseason.
KIA defeated the visiting KT 7-3 on Thursday at Katie Weeds Park in Suwon, South Korea.
Park Chan-ho was the key to the victory.
With the score tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning, when Jang Sung-woo’s grounder deflected off the glove of third baseman Kim Do-young, the KIA shortstop calmly caught the ball and accurately threw to first base to end the inning.
With the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, Park took advantage of a six-pitch forkball from KT closer Kim Jae-yoon to hit a two-run double to right field.
Convinced that he had hit the game-winning hit, Park pumped his fist in the air and ran to first base, waving his arms in the air as he reached first base, eliciting a roar from the KIA fans.
With runners on first and third, KIA scored two more runs on Na Sung-bum’s triple to center field to put the game out of reach.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, with a 1-0 lead, KT’s Oh Yoon-seok hit a two-run home run.
It was Park Chan-ho who changed the game.
In the top of the sixth inning, Park hit a bouncing grounder near second base and sprinted for an infield single.
KT second baseman Lee Ho-yeon’s throw to first went into the dugout, advancing Park to second.
With two outs, Na Sung-bum hit a single to right field to tie the game at 2-2.
After KT regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth on a single by pinch-hitter Jang Sung-woo, Park Chan-ho walked and stole second base in the top of the eighth to put himself in scoring position and came home on Choi Hyung-woo’s single to right-center.
In his final at-bat in the ninth inning, Park came through with a pinch-hit single to secure the win.
Park finished the day with four hits, two doubles, two RBIs, and three runs scored.
Sixth-place KIA maintained its 1.5-game lead over fifth-place Doosan.
LG starter Kelly pitched six innings of three-hit ball, giving up no runs for the first time this season. [Yonhap]
■ LG takes lead as starter Kelly pitches first no-hitter of season
The LG Twins defeated the Lotte Giants 3-1 at home in Jamsil to extend their lead in the Korean Baseball Organization standings.
LG’s joy was compounded by the fact that foreign starter Casey Kelly, who has struggled this season, pitched a no-hitter (six innings, three hits) for the first time this season.
Kelly had previously tossed a no-hitter (eight innings, seven hits, one run) against Lotte on June 23, but this was the first time this season that she hadn’t allowed an earned run.
The LG bats came alive in the fourth inning.
One out later, Kim Hyun-soo led off with a bunt single in front of the pitcher, and Austin Dean followed with a double to left field to lead off the inning.
Oh Ji-hwan struck out, but Moon Bo-kyung was hit by a pitch and Park Dong-won walked to load the bases, and Moon Sung-joo followed with an RBI single up the middle to make it 3-0.
Lotte got one run back in the top of the seventh, after Kelly left the game, with back-to-back doubles by Ahn Chi-hong and Yoon Dong-hee. However, with the bases loaded, Jeong Hoon, Lee Jung-geun and Jeon Jun-woo all struck out to end the inning.
Seventh-ranked Lotte suffered its fourth straight loss.
SSG Landers’ Choi Jung-jeong is congratulated by his teammates in the dugout after hitting a game-winning solo shot in the first inning. [Courtesy of SSG Landers]
3rd-ranked SSG, Choi Jeong’s come-from-behind solo arch…closing in on 2nd-ranked KT by half a game
The third-place SSG Landers defeated the fourth-place NC Dinos 7-4 at home in Incheon, closing the gap on second-place KT to 0.5 games.
NC took the lead in the top of the first inning when Park Gun-woo hit a two-run shot to center field.
SSG countered right back.
In the bottom of the first, leadoff hitter Choo Shin-soo singled to left, and Choi Ji-hoon followed with a triple to right-center.
Choi came home on a wild pitch from NC starter Lee Jae-hak to tie the game at 2-2, and then Choi Jung took a Lee Jae-hak fastball over the right field wall for a solo shot.
NC tried to change the momentum in the first inning by making a change at catcher from Ahn Jung-yeol to Kim Hyung-joon without recording a single out, but the next batter, Choi Joo-hwan, also took advantage of Lee Jae-hak’s fastball for a towering solo shot.
After scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning, SSG added another run in the second inning as Kim Sung-hyun, Choo Shin-soo, and Choi Ji-hoon singled in three consecutive batters, and Choi Ju-hwan scored on a bases-loaded walk to Choi Jung.
One out later in the inning, Han Yoo-seom blasted a solo home run to right field to make it 7-2.
Catcher Kim Hyung-jun hit his first and second solo home runs of the season in the fifth and eighth innings to cut the deficit to 7-4, but NC was unable to overcome the early deficit.
Meanwhile, the Samsung Lions and Hanwha Eagles game in Daejeon was canceled due to rain.