Doosan defends 5th place…KT beats KIA to start chase for 1st place

The Doosan Bears and KIA Tigers were evenly matched in the battle for fifth place in the Korean Baseball Organization.

Doosan rode the back of Raul Alcantara to a win over the Kiwoom Heroes to stay in fifth place, while sixth-place KIA was brought to its knees by the KT Wiz in a parade of heartbreaking errors.

Doosan got off to a clean start to the week with a 6-1 win over visiting Kiwoom in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Wednesday.

Doosan moved to within one game of KIA and two games of the fourth-place NC Dinos.

Doosan starter Alcantara threw 101 pitches over seven innings, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out seven to pick up his 11th win of the season.

The right-hander showed off his strong side for the first time since 2019, when he played for the KT WIZ, as he won his ninth straight start in 10 appearances against the Kiwoom.

Alcantara pitched a no-hitter until the fourth inning, and the Doosan bats helped him out with timely runs.

After a leadoff single by Cho and a double by Jose Rojas put runners on first and second in the first inning, Doosan took the lead on a two-run double by Yang Seok-hwan.

In the third, Kim Jae-hwan’s grounder to second and third scored a run after first baseman Kim Woong-bin missed it, and Kang Seung-ho followed with an RBI double to seal the win.

In the eighth inning, Yang Yang-ji, who was recalled to the first team ahead of the game, celebrated his return.

With his 10th home run of the season, Yang became the 15th player in history to reach double-digit home runs in 10 consecutive seasons.

Kiwoom could only manage one run in the ninth inning on Kim Joo-hyung’s RBI double.

Second-place KT pulled off an 8-4 come-from-behind win at home against KIA at Katie Wise Park in Suwon.

With its third straight win, KT closed to within 6.5 games of first-place LG Twins, who did not play on the day.

KT continued its hot streak, sweeping 11 of its last 13 games (2-2).

KT scored a run in the top of the first inning, taking advantage of a shaky Lee Yi-ri.

Lee complained of pain in his left shoulder after the fourth inning, and KIA brought in Jang Hyun-sik early.

KT didn’t capitalize on the opportunity. Instead, they struggled in the top of the sixth inning when their starter, Uhm Sang-baek, faltered on defense.

Uhm gave up a two-run double to Kim Sun-bin with the bases loaded, and reliever Son Dong-hyun gave up an RBI single to Kim Tae-gun to make it 2-4.

However, KT went on the offensive in the bottom of the sixth inning and turned the game around.

With runners on first and second, KT pinch-hitter Lee Ho-yeon hit a ground ball in front of the pitcher. The opposing pitcher, Lim Ki-young, caught the ball and chose third base, and when Hwang Jae-gyun, the second baseman, was ruled safe, KT had a chance to load the bases.

After KT scored a run on a sacrifice bunt, Kim Min-hyuk lined a single to left off reliever Choi Ji-min to tie the game at 4-4.

KT kept pushing. The next batter, Kim Sang-soo, struck out swinging, but second baseman Lee Ho-yeon attempted to steal third and scored when KIA catcher Kim Tae-gun’s throw to third fell backward.

KT pinch-hitter Park Byung-ho then hit a grounder to first base, but this time, KIA first baseman Choi Won-joon made an error by throwing the ball behind him, allowing KT second baseman Kim Min-hyuk to score easily.

KT countered with a run in the bottom of the eighth inning when Kim Sang-soo lined a single to right field with runners on first and second to make it 6-4.

With a four-run lead in the ninth, KT brought in closer Kim Jae-yoon to secure the win.

Kim Sang-soo finished 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs, while Hwang Jae-gyun went 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI.

At the Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon, the Samsung Lions defeated the Hanwha Eagles 5-3 in a back-and-forth game that saw the teams trade errors in every inning.

Samsung moved into eighth place with the win, dropping Hanwha to ninth. Hanwha has lost three straight.

The game was a pitcher’s duel. Samsung took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning when starter David Buchanan faltered.

With runners on first and second, Buchanan caught Choi In-ho’s sacrifice bunt and stole second base.

A shaky Buchanan gave up a wild pitch and a single to load the bases.

He then struck out Lee on a wild pitch, but the final pitch dropped backward, allowing Lee to score from third.

Noh Si-hwan then committed a balk, allowing third baseman Choi In-ho to score.

It looked like Samsung was going to put the game away, but in their final at-bat in the top of the ninth, they dramatically turned the game around.

Koo Ja-rook singled to left-center to put runners on second and third, and pinch-hitter Ryu Ji-hyuk hit a grounder to shortstop.

Hanwha shortstop Ha Joo-seok then committed a throwing error, putting runners on second and third.

Samsung capitalized on the opportunity. Pinch-hitter Kim Dong-yeop hit an infield single to tie the game at 2-2.

The next batter, Lee Jae-hyun, followed with a single to right and scored on a throwing error by Hanwha right fielder Nick Williams to make it 4-2.

Kim Ji-chan drove in the winning run with an RBI single to right.

Samsung led 5-2 in the bottom of the ninth, but reliever Oh Seung-hwan gave up a leadoff solo home run to Lee Do-yoon.

Buchanan, who threw 116 pitches in seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits and one walk with five strikeouts, could smile.

The LG-Lotte game at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul and the NC Dinos-SSG Landers game at SSG Landers Field in Incheon were canceled due to rain. 먹튀검증

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