Kiwoom won 5-3 in a 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League visit game against Lotte Giants at Sajik Stadium in Busan on the 22nd. Kiwoom, which had one loss in the team’s most consecutive losses, took a breather and rose one notch from ninth to eighth.
Ronnie Dawson, a new foreign hitter who played as the fourth batter left fielder, hit a clean one-run heavy timely hit in his KBO League debut at first and second bases with one out and two walks, taking advantage of Lotte starter Park Se-woong’s poor ball control.
Lee Won-seok called in Lee Jung-hoo, who was at second base with a left-handed hit, and later three walks came out and added two points to push out, leaving Kiwoom 4-0. Lotte tied Yoon Dong-hee’s double and An Chi-hong’s hit in the bottom of the first inning to catch up with one run and chased 2-4 thanks to Yoon Dong-hee’s timely hit in the middle of the fourth inning with two outs and runners on first and second base.
In the sixth inning, Yoo Kang-nam drew a left-handed solo arch chasing 3-4. Kiwoom, which had been chased, widened the gap to 5-3 again in the top of the seventh inning by combining Kim Hye-sung’s mid-month triple and Lee Jung-hoo’s right-handed hit.
Kiwoom, which started the bullpen in the sixth inning following starter Ariel Furado, overcame the crisis well every inning and allowed a double and a walk in the bottom of the ninth inning when closer Lim Chang-min was raised, facing the final tie with no outs and runners on first and second base. Veteran Lim Chang-min struck out Yoo Kang-nam and secured the victory by catching Kim Min-seok, who swung four hits in four at-bats until the previous batter’s box, with a left fielder fly ball and Yoon Dong-hee, who also hit three hits, with a center fielder fly ball.
The fourth-place NC Dinos beat the Hanwha Eagles 7-5 with Jason Martin’s dramatic come-from-behind three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning when they were losing 4-5 in Daejeon away. NC chased the third-place Doosan Bears by two games, while widening the gap with fifth-place Lotte to two games.
There were ups and downs throughout the game. As NC took the lead with Martin’s superior one-run home run in the second inning, Hanwha tied Lee Jin-young’s one-run double and Kim In-hwan’s right-handed timely hit in the bottom of the third inning to turn it around 2-1 and ran away 3-1 with Jung Eun-won’s home run in the fourth inning. NC tied the game 3-3 with Park Kun-woo’s two-run left-handed timely hit in the sixth inning, and made a 4-3 comeback with Son Ah-seop’s one-run right-center double in the seventh inning.
Hanwha balanced 4-4 with Roh Si-hwan’s double play in the bottom of the seventh inning and turned it around again 5-4 with a strike-not-out catcher’s fastball in the bottom of the eighth inning to win. However, NC continued its last chance with Park Kun-woo’s technical right-handed hit in the top of the ninth inning with two outs and first base, and Martin sent Hanwha closer Park Sang-won’s forkball outside the right-center fence to enjoy a dramatic come-from-behind victory.
Samsung Lions, the No. 1 team with a come-from-behind loss (24 losses) this season, scored three runs with three single hits, including two infield hits, in the bottom of the seventh inning when they were trailing 1-2 at home in Daegu, and won a come-from-behind victory over KT Wiz 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Kt finished the winning streak at ‘4’ and took a breather. Samsung scored first with Kang Min-ho’s left-handed solo arch in the bottom of the second inning. Kang Min-ho hit his 315th home run in his career, pushing Park Kyung-wan (currently LG Twins battery coach, 314) to 12th place in this category, becoming the sole 11th and the new owner of the most home runs by catchers ever.
KT tied the score with Kang Baek-ho’s walk followed by a stolen base and Bae Jung-dae’s timely hit to the right in the top of the fifth inning when they were being dragged 0-1. Bae Jung-dae, who went to second base due to Samsung starter Won Tae-in’s wild pitch, immediately stepped home and turned the tide 2-1 when Kim Min-hyuk’s timely left-handed hit exploded.
After two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Samsung took a chance to turn the game around again with Kim Dong-jin’s right-center double. With two outs and runners on first and second bases, which followed Lee Jae-hyun’s walk, two runners stood in the scoring position with KT relief Park Young-hyun’s wild pitch at Kim Hyun-joon’s at-bat.
When Kim Hyun-joon’s infield hit to shortstop, Kim Dong-jin scored a 2-2 tie, and Kim Ji-chan’s right-handed hit Lee Jae-hyun scored a 3-2 lead again. Soon after, when Koo Ja-wook hit an infield single to first baseman, even Kim Hyun-joon came home and widened the gap to 4-2. Samsung tied Jose Pirella’s double, a sending bunt, and a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning to add one point to the wedge.