The Hanwha Eagles, who surged to the top of the Korean Baseball Organization standings for the first time in a decade after opening the season with a bang, were unable to capitalize on a bases-loaded walk-off opportunity in the ninth inning and saw their eight-game winning streak come to an end.

Hanwha fell 0-1 at home to the Lotte Giants of the 2024 Shinhan Bank SOL Bank KBO League on Sunday at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon.

The offense had five hits and seven walks in front of a sellout crowd of 12,000, but couldn’t find the clutch hit. Hanwha had 12 stranded runners.

Hanwha (7-2) maintained its lead in the standings, even though its winning streak was snapped at seven games.

Lotte secured a valuable victory in the top of the eighth inning when Son Ho-young, a “transfer student” acquired in a one-for-one trade with the LG Twins on March 30, hit a grand slam. Lotte, which improved to 6-2, moved up one spot to eighth place.

Hanwha starter Ricardo Sanchez pitched 5⅔ scoreless innings with eight strikeouts, but struggled to score runs against Lotte starter Na Gyun-an.

Hanwha squandered a golden opportunity in the bottom of the second inning when Choi Jae-hoon and Jeong Eun-won were struck out in succession by Na Gyun-ahn’s heavy fastball.

In the bottom of the third, Jonathan Peraza singled and Chae Eun-sung reached on a throwing error by third baseman Lee Joo-chan to put runners on first and second, but Noh Si-hwan and Ahn Chi-hong struck out in succession.

Hanwha also had runners in scoring position in the bottom of the fourth and sixth innings, but couldn’t get the decisive hit to bring them home.

Hanwha missed multiple chances to take the lead, and Lotte took the lead. In the top of the eighth, with runners on first and third, Park Sang-won hit a single to Son Ho-young that slipped between the third baseman and shortstop.

Hanwha had its best chance in the bottom of the ninth. Ha Joo-seok singled, Choi In-ho doubled, and Lee Jae-won drew an intentional walk to load the bases.

One hit would have been enough to complete the thrilling comeback, but it didn’t come.

Moon Hyun-bin hit an infield grounder that turned into a double. Peraza followed with an intentional walk to load the bases again. However, the next batter, Chae Eun-sung, fumbled the bat on a forked ball from Lotte closer Kim Won-joong and struck out to end the game.

The SSG Landers put on a scorching home run show to extend Pajuk’s winning streak to four games. SSG pounded five home runs in a big 13-6 win over the Doosan Bears in Munhwa.

SSG put together two big innings, scoring six runs in the fourth and five in the eighth, to end Doosan’s chances of a comeback.

Choi hit his 463rd career home run in the bottom of the first inning, moving within four of Lee Seung-yeop’s record of 467 home runs. It was also his fifth home run of the season, giving him sole possession of that honor.

Han Yoo-seom had seven hits, including a three-run homer in the fourth inning and his ninth career grand slam in the eighth.

The KT Wiz defeated the KIA Tigers 10-6 in Suwon to earn their second win of the season and snap a three-game losing streak.

KT starting pitcher Ko Young-pyo earned his first win of the season with six innings of seven-hit, four-strikeout, no-hit ball with excellent crisis management.

KT took a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning when Jang Sung-woo hit a three-run home run off Yang Hyun-jong. They added two runs in the seventh and four in the eighth to reach double digits for the first time this season.

However, they faltered in the top of the ninth, giving up five runs, including a three-run homer to Lee Woo-sung, forcing the team to call on closer Park Young-hyun to finish the game.

Kia starter Yang Hyun-jong took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits (one home run) with three walks and two strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Kia also slipped one spot to third place (5-2).

The Kiwoom Heroes defeated the Samsung Lions 8-3 in Daegu to win their third straight game after opening with four straight losses. Samsung, on the other hand, went winless (1-6) in seven games after winning two straight.

Kiwoom took the lead in the top of the fourth inning on Ronnie Dawson’s two-run homer, and took a 5-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning when Kim Hye-sung hit a two-run triple to put the game out of reach.

Lee Ju-hyung, who was named to the first-team roster, went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs, while Kim Hye-seong went 3-for-5 with four RBIs.

In Jamsil, the NC Dinos extended their winning streak to three games with a 7-5 come-from-behind victory over LG. NC improved to 6-2 and moved into second place. Defending champion LG fell to 4-1-1 with its third straight loss.

NC’s Kyle Hart struggled, allowing four runs on seven hits and five walks with 10 strikeouts in five innings, but the offense helped him earn his first KBO win.

LG starter Choi Won-tae responded with 5⅔ innings of four hits (one home run), one walk, 10 strikeouts, and four runs. It was the 14th time in franchise history that both starting pitchers recorded double-digit strikeouts.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *