Park Hae-min hits 5 HRs, Ahn Woo-jin catches Lee Jeong-yong LG wins 6th straight game in a row

LG’s Park Hae-min celebrates after hitting a triple in the seventh inning with the bases loaded during the baseball game between the Kiwoom Heroes and the LG Twins of the ‘2023 Shinhan SOL KBO League’ at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea, on August 2.

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Top-ranked LG extended its winning streak to a season-high six games after demolishing the KBO’s best pitcher, Kiwoom Ahn, in the first inning.

LG rode a six-inning no-hitter from fifth starter Lee Jung-yong and a five-hit performance from Park Hae-min to a 6-3 victory over Kiwoom at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Tuesday. With the win, LG improved to 55 wins, 33 losses and two ties, and moved 4.5 games clear of second-place SSG, which lost to KT earlier in the day.

Before the match, the odds were stacked in favor of Kiwoom. Despite being in the bottom half of the standings, their starting pitcher was Ahn Woo-jin, who has the best stuff in the KBO. On the other hand, LG’s starter was Lee Jung-yong, who has mostly pitched in the middle innings this season, posting a 3-1 record with three saves and a 6.27 ERA.

However, when the lid was lifted, the results were completely unexpected. Lee, who was making his fifth start of the season, pitched six shutout innings, allowing just three hits and no walks. He didn’t get the win as he handed the baton over to reliever Ham Deok-ju with the score tied at 0-0, but he pitched his best game since his switch to the starting rotation against Ahn Woo-jin.

LG starting pitcher Lee Jung-yong applauds after inducing a grounder to shortstop by Kiwoom’s Kim Tae-jin during the 2023 KBO Baseball League baseball game between Kiwoom Heroes and LG Twins at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea, on August 2.

After being held scoreless by Ahn Woo-jin through six innings, LG broke the tie in the bottom of the seventh. After leadoff hitter Oh Ji-hwan singled to right and Moon Bo-kyung singled up the middle, the runners were put on second and third when Kiwoom center fielder Lee Ju-hyung made a bad throw. Park Dong-won then drew a three-ball no-strike on a wild pitch to load the bases with no outs.

With two outs, Park Hae-min took advantage of a fastball from Ahn Woo-jin on a three-pitch, one-strike count and blasted a three-run triple over the right field fence. Park then came home on a strikeout walk to Hong Chang-ki. Park added an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning, giving him five RBIs on the day.

After the game, LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop said, “Lee Jung-yong created a pitching battle early in the game with good pitches that were on par with Ahn Woo-jin. As his forkball became a decisive pitch, the value of his curveball, slider, and fastball improved. We are looking forward to seeing more of Lee Jung-yong’s pitching in the future.”

In Suwon, KT extended its winning streak to five games with a 1-0 victory over SSG behind starting pitcher William Cuevas. Using a fastball that reached up to 150 kilometers per hour, Cuevas shut down the SSG bats with seven innings of six-hit, five-strikeout ball to earn his fourth win of the season.

KT scored its only run of the day in the bottom of the fourth inning on a pair of doubles. After leadoff hitter Anthony Alford led off with a double to left field, Hwang Jae-gyun followed with a timely double that hit the fence. Hwang went 2-for-2 with a double, a walk and an RBI to lead the offense. KT, which has won five straight, jumped past NC into fourth place.

SSG starter Kim Kwang-hyun pitched seven innings of four-hit ball with three walks and two strikeouts, 고스톱 but received no offensive help and suffered his third loss of the season (6-1).

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