While the LG Twins (56 wins, 2 ties, 35 games, 0.615), who led the way with a seven-game winning streak at the start of the second half, faltered with back-to-back losses to the last-place Samsung Lions, the SSG Landers (52 wins, 1 tie, 38 games, 0.578) won two straight to pull within 3.5 games of them and reestablish a “two-horse race”.
The battle for mid-table positions heading into fall baseball is as hot as the summer heat.
The third-place NC Dinos (47 wins, 1 tie, 0.522), fourth-place Doosan (47 wins, 1 tie, 0.522), and fifth-place KT (48 wins, 2 ties, 0.522) form a three-way tie for fifth place, with KT WIZ, which had jumped to third place with a seven-game winning streak the day before, dropping to fifth place after losing to the Doosan Bears. The three teams have identical winning percentages of 0.522.
The sixth-place KIA Tigers have a scary chase.
KIA (44 wins, 1 tie, 43 losses, 0.506) beat the Hanwha Eagles on Sunday to extend their winning streak to three games. KIA returned to a positive win-loss margin and a 5-percent winning percentage for the first time in 77 days, closing the 3-5 group to 1.5 games.
Doosan-NC 47 wins, 1 tie, 43 losses, winning percentage 0.522 Tied for 3rd place
Tied for fourth place, Doosan and NC moved up one spot to tie for third place.
Doosan jumped to third place in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League on Friday at Jamsil Stadium by defeating KT, which had jumped to third place after winning seven straight games the day before.
KT dropped to fifth place without a win in one day.
Doosan, which had lost to KT the day before to drop to third place, beat KT 7-4 behind a seven-inning, four-hit shutout by starter Brandon Waddell, who struck out eight and walked none, and the firepower of its bats.
Doosan took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, scoring two runs on back-to-back doubles by Jung Soo-bin and Kim Jae-ho and capitalizing on two fielding errors.
Doosan scored a run in the second on Jung Soo-bin’s RBI triple and another in the fourth on a wild pitch, but Yang Seok-hwan hit his 16th two-run homer of the season in the fifth to extend the lead to 7-0.
KT scored four runs in the eighth on an RBI double by Anthony Alford, a sacrifice fly by Moon Sang-chul and a two-run homer by Hwang Jae-gyun, but could get no closer, ending the seven-game winning streak.
NC’s Kim Sung-wook’s 8th inning solo shot sparks 3-game winning streak…Kiwoom fears for last place
In a game played in Changwon, NC defeated the Kiwoom Heroes for the second straight day, 4-3, to extend their winning streak to three games.
NC opened the scoring in the first inning against Kiwoom starter Jang Jae-young with a double by Park Min-woo and a single by Seo Ho-cheol to put runners on first and third with no outs, followed by an infield single by Park Gun-woo.
With runners on first and second, Kwon Hee-dong hit a two-run double to left-center field to make it 3-0.
Kiwoom answered back in the third, with Kim Jun-wan leading off with a double, followed by Kim Hye-sung’s RBI single and Ronnie Dawson’s tying two-run homer, his third of the season.
It was Kim Sung-wook’s single that broke the tense pitching battle that ensued.
In the eighth inning, Kim hit a solo shot off Kiwoom’s fourth pitcher, Kim Sung-jin, to give his team the win.
Ninth-ranked Kiwoom lost its seventh straight game and is in danger of falling to the bottom of the standings.
KIA turns win-loss margin positive after 77 days with Hanwha sweep
In Gwangju, the hometown KIA Tigers extended their winning streak to three games with a 9-3 victory over the Hanwha Eagles.
Sixth-ranked KIA, which improved to 44 wins, 43 losses and one tie, turned its win-loss margin into a positive one for the first time in 77 days since May 20.
KIA scored four runs in the first inning on three consecutive singles by Kim Do-young, Na Sung-beom and Kim Sun-bin and a sacrifice fly by Lee Woo-sung to pound Hanwha starter Han Seung-hyuk.
Hanwha cut the deficit to one run in the second inning on Oh Sun-jin’s RBI double and Choi Jae-hoon’s RBI double in the top of the seventh.
KIA then scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead for good.
KIA starter Thomas Pannoni earned his second win of the season with a strong outing of 6⅔ innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts.
The offense backed him up with effective hitting, scoring nine runs on 11 hits.
Samsung clinches its first winning series against LG in 826 days.
Samsung, which has been batting hot in August, swept LG for the second straight day to clinch the best-of-three series.
Samsung won 6-3 at home against LG on Friday at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, South Korea, behind a batting lineup that pounded out 12 hits and a strong pitching performance from starter Baek Jung-hyun.
Samsung, which had come from behind to beat LG 5-4 the day before, won the first two games of the three-game home series for the second straight day.
It is the first time in 826 days since May 1, 2021 that Samsung has secured a winning series against LG.
Last-place Samsung, which improved to 39 wins, 54 losses and one tie (0.419 winning percentage), erased the gap between itself and the ninth-place Kiwoom Heroes (41 wins, 56 losses and three ties – 0.423 winning percentage), who also lost the game.
After giving up two runs to LG in the top of the first inning, Samsung answered back with a run in the bottom of the inning on a triple by leadoff hitter Kim Hyun-jun and a sacrifice fly by Kim Sung-yoon.
In the third inning, with runners on first and second, Koo tied the game with an RBI double and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryu Ji-hyuk to make it 3-2.
With his game-winning double, Koo became the 64th player in KBO history to reach 2,000 hits and the 53rd to reach 250.
After LG tied the game in the top of the fourth with Austin Dean’s 13th solo shot of the season, Samsung regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth with Lee Jae-hyun’s eighth home run of the season.
In the fifth, Ryu Ji-hyuk’s RBI single and a double steal with runners on first and third made it 6-3.
Samsung turned to its bullpen in the seventh, with Woo Kyu-min, Lee Jae-ik, and Oh Seung-hwan each pitching one scoreless inning to preserve the win.
Samsung starter Baek Jung-hyun earned his sixth win of the season (5-0), allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits (one home run) with one strikeout in six innings.
■ Choo Shin-soo’s 5-hit game puts SSG within 3.5 games of ‘2-game losing streak’ leader LG
In Busan, SSG Landers Choo Shin-soo had his first five-hit game since joining the KBO against the Lotte Giants, leading the team to a 9-6 victory.
After doubling in the first, tripling in the third, bunting in the fifth, and driving in a run with a single to right field in the sixth, Shin-soo Choo hit an RBI single to left field with runners on first and second in the 10th inning of extra innings that tied the game at 6-6.
Shin-Soo Choo, who went 5-for-6 with one home run and four RBIs, raised his batting average from .254 to .269 in one day.
SSG regained the lead after Choo Shin-soo’s hit, and with two outs, Choi Jung hit a two-run single to drive in the winning run.
League saves leader Seo Jin-yong collected his 30th save of the season, marking the first time since 2006 when the league began counting blown saves that he reached 30 saves without a blown save.안전놀이터
Second-place SSG, which has won two straight, closed the gap to 3.5 games on first-place LG, which has lost two straight.
Lotte’s Jung-hoon Chung hit a three-run homer in the first inning and a one-run shot in the seventh, his first two-homer game in eight years since May 26, 2015, against the SK Wyverns (now SSG), but it was overshadowed by his team’s loss.