The Kiwoom Heroes narrowly snapped an eight-game losing streak.
Kiwoom won 5-3 against the Lotte Giants in the regular season of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Sajik Stadium in Busan on April 22. With the win, Kiwoom broke its eight-game losing streak. It prevented them from tying the team-high humiliation of nine straight losses in 2009. It improved to 39 wins, 47 losses, and two ties. Lotte took the series 1-1. Kiwoom’s narrowly missed five-game winning percentage at 39-39 has collapsed again at 39-40.
Kiwoom’s starting lineup was Kim Jun-wan (designated hitter), Kim Hye-sung (second base), Lee Jung-hoo (center field), Ronnie Dawson (left field), Lee Won-seok (first base), Song Sung-moon (third base), Joo Sung-won (right field), Lee Ji-young (catcher), and Kim Ju-hyung (shortstop). The starting pitcher is Ariel Hurtado.
Lotte’s starting lineup is Yoon Dong-hee (right fielder), Niko Goodrum (third baseman), Ahn Chi-hong (first baseman), Jeon Jun-woo (left fielder), Lee Jung-hoon (designated hitter), Park Seung-wook (second baseman), Noh Jin-hyuk (shortstop), Yoo Kang-nam (catcher), and Kim Min-seok (center fielder).
Dawson hits in first at-bat of debut, ending Kiwoom’s 24-inning scoreless streak
Kiwoom was mired in an eight-game losing streak and lacking in offense. However, they scored the first run in the first inning and it turned out to be a big inning. Dawson came up with runners on first and second after a walk and stolen base by Kim Hye-sung and a single by Lee Jung-hoo in the bottom of the first, and on a one-ball, two-strike count, he took a 125-kilometer curveball from Park Se-woong on the fourth pitch for a single to center field. It was his first career RBI in his first at-bat. The new face broke the team’s 24-inning scoreless streak. Kiwoom had gone 24 consecutive innings without scoring a run since scoring three runs in the third inning against KT in Gochuk on April 12, which was broken by Dawson. With runners on first and second, Lee Won-seok singled to left center to drive in another run. With runners on first and third, Song Sung-moon drew a walk to load the bases. Joo Sung-won struck out, but Lee Ji-young and Kim Joo-hyung followed with back-to-back push balls to score two more runs and take a 4-0 lead.
Kiwoom chases Lotte, can’t escape after 4-run first inning
Lotte responded immediately. In the bottom of the first, leadoff hitter Yoon Dong-hee doubled down the left field line. Goodrum followed with a fly ball to left field that Dawson made a jumping catch to rob the runner at second. However, Lotte got a run back on Ahn Chi-hong’s single up the middle with two outs. Lee Jeong-hoon then singled to right and Park Seung-wook walked to load the bases, but Noh Jin-hyuk was thrown out at third to end the threat.
Kiwoom couldn’t get any closer. Lotte’s chase wasn’t perfect either. In the fourth inning, Park Seung-wook led off with a walk. Noh Jin-hyuk singled to left field and Yoo Kang-nam flied out to right field for the second out. However, two batters later, Kim Min-seok singled to left to put runners on first and second, and Yoon Dong-hee singled up the middle to score another run. With the bases loaded and two outs, Gudrum hit a well-pitched ball that went straight to the second baseman.
Hurado-Park Se-woong 5-inning stint, bullpen goes to work… Lotte 1st inning, Jeon Jun-woo singles → Kiwoom’s Lee Jung-hoo doubles to center field.
Both starters struggled until the fifth inning and left the mound after only five innings. LOTTE starter Park Se-woong allowed no runs after giving up four in the first inning. He gave up four runs on five hits and five walks with three strikeouts in five innings. Furado gave up two runs on seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts in five innings, but his pitch count reached 92. The game turned into an early bullpen battle in the sixth inning.
With the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the sixth, Lotte’s Kang Nam Yoo lifted a 131-kilometer pitch from Kiwoom’s second pitcher, Yang Hyun, for a solo shot to left field. A double by Kim Min-seok and consecutive walks by Gudrum and Ahn Chi-hong loaded the bases with one out. However, Jeon Jun-woo touched Lee Myung-jong’s first pitch and beat the third baseman to the bag, ending Lotte’s chances.
After the crisis, there was an opportunity. After overcoming a bases-loaded situation, Kiwoom scored an unearned run in the top of the seventh. Leadoff hitter Kim Hye-seong hit a triple to center field, and Lee Jung-hoo followed with an RBI single to right. It was 5-3 again. 스포츠토토
Lotte continued to create chances. However, they failed to score. In the bottom of the seventh, Lee Jung-hoon led off with a single to right but was stranded, and in the eighth, Kim Min-seok and Yoon Dong-hee couldn’t capitalize on back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second. Goodrum struck out, Ahn Chi-hong grounded out to second base and Jeon Jun-woo singled to load the bases, but pinch-hitter Han Dong-hee flied out to right field.
In the ninth inning, Lotte had runners on first and second with no outs after a leadoff double by Park Seung-wook and a walk by Noh Jin-hyuk. However, they were unable to capitalize.
Lotte’s bats suffered from a severe lack of cohesion on the day, scoring just three runs on 13 hits and seven walks despite reaching base 20 times. Kim Min-seok had four hits in his debut, Yoon Dong-hee had three and Lee Jung-hoon and Park Seung-wook also had two.
For Kiwoom, Lee Jung-hoo had three hits and an RBI and Kim Hye-sung had one hit, a walk and two runs scored. Ronnie Dawson, making his debut, had the final hit. Yang Hyun Lee, Kim Myung-jong, Kim Seong-jin, Kim Jae-woong, and Lim Chang-min held the lead in the late innings.