SSG, LG miss 50-win mark Doosan wins 10th straight, ‘ties franchise record’

‘Barnes 5⅔ scoreless innings’ LOTTE defeats Kiwoom Kiwoom loses 8th straight game
Cuevas 8 innings, 1 run KT, 4 straight wins

SSG Landers was the first team to smile in the Korean Series in July.

SSG won 6-4 against the LG Twins in the 2023 Shinhan Bank Solar KBO League at Jamsil Stadium on July 21.

After snapping a two-game losing streak in the first game of the second half, second-place SSG (47-1, 32) closed the gap to first-place LG (49-2, 31) by 1.5 games. LG fell into a three-game losing streak at the start of the second half.

SSGs Choi Jeong-jeong and Ha Jae-hoon, who returned to the first team roster side by side after shaking off injuries, shined.

Choi went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, including the game-winning hit in the fifth inning. Choi, who was tied for third on the all-time hits list with Lee Dae-ho (retired) with 1,425 career hits before this game, started the game in sole possession of third place.

Ha Jae-hoon chipped in with two hits, two runs scored and two stolen bases.

SSG Kwang-hyun Kim improved to 6-2 on the season with the help of his offense, allowing four runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in six innings.

LG’s Casey Kelly was limited to five innings, six hits (one home run), two walks, four strikeouts, and five runs to avoid his sixth loss of the season.

LG struck first in the bottom of the first inning.

After an infield single by leadoff hitter Hong Chang-ki and groundouts by Park Hae-min and Kim Hyun-soo, Austin Dean singled to left field to load the bases.

SSG quickly tied the game in the top of the second when Ha Jae-hoon doubled to left-center and Kim Min-sik singled up the middle.

The teams traded runs in the fourth inning.

SSG put runners in scoring position with two outs in the top of the fourth on a walk and a stolen base by Ha Jae-hoon. With two outs, Kim Sung-hyun hit an RBI single to left-center field to make it 2-1.

LG responded in the bottom of the fourth inning with a walk and a stolen base. With two outs, Lee Jae-won tied the game with a single up the middle.

The game changed again in the fifth inning.

SSG loaded the bases in the top of the fifth with a walk to Choo Shin-soo and a grounder to Choi Ji-hoon. Choi Jung-jeong hit a double to left-center to give his team the lead again.

With the bases loaded, Choi took Kelly’s two-seam fastball in the middle of the plate for a towering two-run shot (his 15th of the season).

Trailing 2-5 in the bottom of the fifth, LG got back-to-back RBI singles from Kim Hyun-soo and Austin to cut the deficit to 4-5.

SSG answered back in the top of the seventh inning with Choi Jeong-jeong’s RBI single. Choi Ji-hoon drew a walk to put runners on first and second, and Choi hit a two-run double that landed in center field.

With a 6-4 lead, SSG brought up Seo Jin-yong to close out the game in the bottom of the ninth. Seo gave up a single to left-center field to Shin Min-jae, the first batter he faced, but was able to end the game without allowing a run and record his 26th save of the season.

The Doosan Bears won 5-2 against the KIA Tigers at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field behind ace Raul Alcantara’s strong pitching and Jun-young Park’s two-run shot.

Doosan, which had dropped nine games from the first game of the month against the Lotte Giants in Ulsan to the last game of the first half against the SSG Landers in Incheon, opened the second half with the win and extended its winning streak to 10 games.

The 10-game winning streak is tied for the longest in franchise history. Doosan had previously won 10 straight games from June 16, 2000 against the Suwon Hyundai Unicorns to June 27 against Jamsil Hyundai, and from June 6, 2018 against the Gochuk Nexen Heroes (now Kiwoom) to June 16 against the Daejeon Hanwha Eagles. That’s 10 straight wins in 1861 days.

Lee Seung-yeop, who took over the reins at Doosan ahead of this season, also tied the record for the longest winning streak in a debut season for a domestic manager in the KBO.

It is the fourth all-time. Former LG Twins manager Chun Bo-sung in 1997 (resigned April 18 against Lotte – April 29 against Doosan in Jamsil), former Hanwha manager Lee Hee-soo in 1999 (resigned September 24 against Incheon Hyundai – October 5 against Samsung Lions in Daejeon), and former LG manager Lee Kwang-eun in 2000 (resigned September 1 against Lotte – October 1 against Samsung Electronics in Jamsil) led 10-game winning streaks in their first year as official managers.

With 43 wins, one draw and 36 losses, Doosan held on to third place.

Foreign ace Alcantara pitched a stellar game to secure the win. She went six innings, allowing one run on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

With the win, Alcantara improved to 10-3 on the season.

In the Doosan lineup, Park Joon-young, who had a hot bat in the bottom half of the first inning, hit a wedge triple to drive in the winning run.

KIA, which has lost two straight, has 36 wins, one draw and 40 losses.

Mario Sanchez, making his second KBO start, struck out 10 in 6⅔ innings but was shaken up by two home runs and four runs.

Sanchez, who earned his first win after allowing one run in 6⅓ innings against the KT Wiz on Sept. 9 in his first start since joining the organization, suffered his first loss.

KIA struck first. In the bottom of the second inning, Lee Woo-seong doubled to right center to score Socrates Brito from second base.

Doosan responded with two home runs of their own.

In the top of the fifth inning, with the bases loaded, Jose Rojas hit a solo shot to right field (his 11th of the season) to tie the game. In the top of the sixth, Heo Kyung-min hit a solo home run (his fourth of the season) over the left field fence.

Doosan added three runs in the seventh inning to extend its lead to 5-1.

In the top of the seventh, Yang Seok-hwan doubled to left, Kang Seung-ho walked, and Park Kye-beom was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Park Jun-young then stepped to the plate and smashed a three-run homer to right-center field.

KIA pulled within one run in the bottom of the eighth when Socrates hit a solo home run to center field (his 12th of the season), but could not get any closer.

Doosan reliever Hong Gun-hee came on in the bottom of the ninth with his team leading 5-2 and pitched one scoreless inning to preserve the win. Unfazed by the fielding error, Hong earned his 21st save of the season (3-0).

At Sajik Stadium, the Lotte Giants defeated the Kiwoom Heroes 2-0 thanks to a strong pitching performance and a game-winning two-run shot by Jeon Jun-woo.

After ending the first half of the season with two straight losses, Lotte snapped the losing streak with a win in the first game of the second half. The fifth-ranked Lotte improved to 39 wins and 39 losses, restoring their five-percent winning percentage.

No. 9 Kiwoom began the second half with back-to-back losses. The eight-game losing streak dropped Kiwoom to 38 wins, two draws and 47 losses.

Lotte foreign starter Charlie Barnes held Kiwoom scoreless in 5⅔ innings, allowing five hits and four walks. He struck out two.

Barnes, who was tagged for six runs in 1 1/3 innings in his last start of the first half against the NC Dinos on April 13, was solid in his first start of the second half. Barnes earned his sixth win of the season.

Jun-woo Jeon’s three-run blast in the third inning was crucial for Lotte.

After working out of a jam with runners on first and second in the top of the first, Barnes allowed just one hit to end the inning. In the top of the third, he gave up only a single.

LOTTE broke the 0-0 tie in the third inning.

Two batters later, Ahn Chi-hong singled to right and Jeon Jun-woo, who came to the plate next, hit a two-run home run (his seventh of the season) to left field off Kiwoom ace Ahn Woo-jin.

Barnes faced a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fifth, but he got Lee Won-seok to ground out to third to end the threat.

In the top of the sixth, Barnes gave up back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners, but he got Kim Jun-wan to ground out to first base to end the threat. Sang-soo Kim, who came on in relief, struck out Lee Hyung-jong to end the threat.

In the top of the seventh and eighth innings, Koo Seung-min and Choi Jun-yong pitched one scoreless inning each to preserve the 2-0 lead.

With a two-run lead, LOTTE brought in closer Kim Won-joong in the top of the ninth. Kim pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts to earn his 17th save of the season (5-1).

Kiwoom’s native ace, Ahn Woo-jin, did his part with six innings of five-hit ball (one home run), six strikeouts, and two runs, but was unable to get the decisive hit at the plate and took the loss. It was his sixth loss of the season.

At Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, the KT Wiz defeated the Samsung Lions 7-2.

After finishing the first half on a three-game winning streak, KT continued its winning streak in the second half. With 38 wins, two draws, and 41 losses, KT moved up to sixth place, dropping KIA, who lost on the day, to seventh.

Samsung, which was forced to use a bullpen day after David Buchanan, who was scheduled to start, was scratched due to knee pain, was unable to overcome the sudden loss of its ace. With 31 wins and 50 losses, Samsung remained in last place.

KT’s foreign ace William Cuevas pitched a gem of a game to help his team win. He pitched eight innings of five-hit ball, including a perfect game until the top of the fourth inning. He struck out 10 and didn’t walk a batter.

Cuevas, who left KT during the 2022 season due to injury and rejoined the team in early June as a substitute foreign pitcher, pitched his best game since returning and earned his third win of the season (undefeated).

The KT bats took advantage of the sweltering heat with three home runs. Kang Baek-ho, Park Byung-ho, and Anthony Alford each hit a home run to torment the Samsung mound.

Samsung’s bullpen suffered a bitter pill to swallow as Jang Pil-joon, who started the game, gave up two runs in the first inning. Jang suffered his first loss of the season.

KT took control of the game in the second inning with a home run by Kang Baek-ho.

After Jang Sung-woo singled and Hwang Jae-gyun doubled to put runners on second and third, Kang Baek-ho stepped to the plate and blasted a three-run shot (his sixth of the season) over the right field fence.

The third run came on a home run. With the bases loaded in the top of the third, Park Byung-ho blasted a solo home run to right field (his eighth of the season).

KT increased its lead to 7-0 in the top of the fourth inning when Lee Ho-yeon singled and Kim Min-hyuk walked to put runners on first and second, and Anthony Alford hit a solo three-run home run (his eighth of the season).

Samsung got one run back in the bottom of the fourth on Jose Pirela’s RBI double to right field, but the game was already out of reach in the bottom of the ninth when leadoff hitter Kim Sung-yoon hit his season’s longest home run over the right field fence.

The NC Dinos won 9-3 against the Hanwha Eagles at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon.

The three-game winning streak pushed NC to 40 wins (1 tie, 38 losses) on the season. They remained in fourth place.

Hanwha, whose two-game winning streak was halted in the first game of the second half, fell to 34 wins, four draws and 41 losses. They remain in eighth place.

Park Gun-woo, who was dropped from the first team roster on the third day due to an attitude controversy, returned to the lineup at the start of the second half of the day and fired up the cannon in his return, going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.

Leadoff hitter Son As-seop was in fine form, going 4-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Yoon Hyung-jun, who stepped in as a pinch hitter when Park Min-woo was hit by a foul ball, added to the power with a 4-for-3 performance, including a two-run homer in the fifth inning.

NC foreign ace Eric Peddie pitched 6⅔ innings of four-hit ball, striking out eight and walking one to earn the win. Peddie picked up his 13th win of the season (2-2) to remain the all-time wins leader.

NC got on the board first in the top of the first inning when leadoff hitter Son Asub hit a leadoff home run (his third of the season) over the right field fence.

After Peddie’s stellar performance, NC added a run in the top of the fourth inning with three consecutive hits from Kwon Hee-dong, Seo Ho-cheol, and Park Seok-min.

In the fifth inning, a back-to-back home run brought in three more runs.

With the bases loaded in the top of the fifth, Yoon Hyung-jun launched a two-run shot to left field (his fourth of the season), and Park Gun-woo followed with a back-to-back home run over the left field fence (his eighth of the season).

NC scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning on a double by Park Gun-woo, a walk by Kwon Hee-dong and a hit by pitch by Park Se-hyuk and a hit by pitch by Kim Joo-won. Son As-seop followed with an infield single to drive in Do Tae-hoon, who was on third base, to make it 8-0.

Hanwha cut the deficit to three runs in the bottom of the seventh on a Nick Williams double to left-center and a Jung Eun-won RBI double up the middle.

However, NC took a 9-3 lead in the top of the ninth when 스포츠토토 Yoon Hyung-jun singled to right field with runners on first and second.

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