LG reaches 30 wins…’Lim Ji-yeol’s 8th inning comeback, Man Rupo, defeats Lotte

The LG Twins have reached 30 wins for the first time this season.

LG completed a 7-1 sweep of the Kia Tigers of the 2023 Shinhan Bank Solar KBO League on Monday at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field.

With the sweep of the three-game series over the weekend, first-place LG is now 30 wins (1 tie, 16 losses) on the season. The SSG Landers (28-1, 16-0), who are in a tie for first place with LG, were unable to play due to rain for the second straight day.

Sixth-place KIA’s season record is now 20-22.

LG starter Lim Chan-kyu earned his fifth win of the season with seven innings of four-hit, four-strikeout ball. It was the first time in 1019 days since Aug. 12, 2020, that Lim won a start against KIA.

At the plate, Moon Sung-ju had one hit and three RBIs, while Austin Dean had two hits and one RBI, including a home run. Park Hae-min had two hits and two runs scored.

KIA starter Sean Anderson suffered his fifth loss of the season (3-3) after giving up six runs (three earned) on four hits (one home run) and three walks in three innings.

LG scored in every inning from the first through the fourth to take the lead.

In the first inning, they had the first chance to score. A leadoff single by Hong Chang-ki, an error and a walk by Moon Bo-kyung loaded the bases.

With one out, Kim Hyun-soo led off the inning with a sacrifice fly to center field.

In the second inning, they added another run without a hit.

Park Hae-min drew a leadoff walk and stole second base on the next at-bat by Shin Min-jae. She advanced to third on a wild pitch by Anderson.

In the next at-bat, catcher Han Seung-taek threw the ball to third base with the runner on third, but the throw went wide, allowing Park to rush home.

One inning later, Austin Dean added another run on a solo shot to left field (his sixth of the season).

With a 3-0 lead, the team exploded for four runs in the fourth inning.

After Park Hae-min singled, an error, and Hong Chang-ki was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Moon Sung-joo hit a three-run triple to center field. Moon followed with an RBI single to right field to extend the lead to 7-0.

KIA scored a late run in the ninth inning on a solo shot to center field by Lee Woo-sung (his third of the season), but it wasn’t enough to change the tide.

KIA, which matched LG’s eight hits on the day, could only muster one run.

At the Gocheok Dome, which was packed for the second straight day, the Kiwoom Heroes defeated the Lotte Giants 7-5 thanks to a come-from-behind walk-off home run by Lim Ji-yeol.

Eighth-ranked Kiwoom, which snapped a four-game losing streak, recorded its 20th win of the season (28 losses).

Lotte, who could have leapfrogged into second place with a win, dropped a game in hand and remained in third place (26-16).

By the middle of the game, the momentum was completely in Lotte’s favor.

LOTTE starter Na Gyun-an held Kiwoom to one run on five hits in six innings with two walks and nine strikeouts.

The LOTTE bats took the lead in the second inning on back-to-back sacrifice flies by Ko Seung-min and Han Dong-hee, then added a run in the third on an RBI single by Ahn Chi-hong. In the fifth inning, with the score 3-1, Jeon Jun-woo hit a sacrifice fly to center field and Ahn Chi-hong added an RBI single.

But Kiwoom wouldn’t give up until the end.

In the top of the seventh inning, down 1-5, Kim Hye-sung’s ground ball scored Kim Hwijip from third base.

In the eighth inning, trailing 2-5, leadoff man Edison Russell, Lim Byung-wook, and Lee Won-seok hit three straight singles to load the bases against Lotte’s fourth pitcher Kim Sang-soo.

With the bases loaded, Kim Dong-heon’s sacrifice fly to center field scored a run, and Kim Hwijip’s single to right-center loaded the bases again.

As the crisis continued, Lotte replaced pitcher Yoon Myung-joon, but it wasn’t enough to stop the reignited Kiwoom bats 메이저놀이터.

With the bases loaded and two outs, Lim Ji-yeol hit a four-pitch fastball over the center field fence for a grand slam. It was Lim’s first career grand slam.

Down 7-5, Kiwoom sent Lim Chang-min to the mound in the top of the ninth to secure the win.

Kiwoom’s fourth pitcher, Lee Myung-jong, earned his first win of the season with 1⅔ scoreless innings.

Kim Sang-soo took the loss for the first time this season.

In Daegu, the Samsung Lions defeated the KT Wiz 6-4.

With the win, the seventh-ranked Samsung (19-25) snapped a three-game losing streak and is one win shy of 20 for the season.

KT, whose bid for its first five-game winning streak of the season fell short, dropped to 10th place (16-2-27) after three days.

Samsung starter Won Tae-in earned his third win of the season with six innings of three-hit ball, two walks and six strikeouts.

Top hitter Koo Ja-rook went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.

Samsung opened the scoring in the second inning with three hits and a bases-loaded walk as Lee Jae-hyun singled to right field. Koo followed with a two-run double to right-center field.

For a 3-0 lead, Kang Min-ho hit a solo shot to left field (his seventh of the season).

Samsung extended its lead to 6-0 in the fourth on an RBI double by Koo and an RBI single by Jose Pirela.

KT starter Bo Schuler was charged with six runs on eight hits (one home run) in 3 1/3 innings to fall to 7-1 on the season.

The KT bats struggled to get a single hit against Won Tae-in until the top of the fifth inning.

They also failed to capitalize on their hard-earned opportunities.

After Jang Sung-woo recorded the team’s first hit, Kim Min-hyuk singled to right and Oh Yoon-seok walked to load the bases in the fifth, but pinch-hitter Moon Sang-chul struck out Won Tae-in to leave them stranded.

In the sixth, Kim Sang-soo doubled and Anthony Alford singled to put runners on first and second, but Park Byung-ho grounded out to third.

KT’s bats only broke their silence in the ninth inning, when they were down 0-6.

After back-to-back singles by Alford and Byung-ho Park, Kang Hyun-woo singled to left-center to put runners on first and second. With runners on first and second, Lee Ho-yeon hit a three-run arch (his first of the season) over the right field wall off Samsung’s Oh Seung-hwan.

However, they were unable to pursue further and lost the game.

Meanwhile, the games scheduled for Jamsil (SSG Landers-Dusan Bears) and Changwon (Hanwha Eagles-NC Dinos) were canceled due to rain.

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