“I want to believe it’s 100 percent.”

That’s what Kiwoom Heroes manager Hong Won-ki said before the team’s game against the Lotte Giants at Sajik Stadium in Busan on Tuesday. He was referring to the physical condition of key infielder Kim Hye-sung, who recently returned from injury.

Kim Hye-sung felt pain in his left shoulder after the game against the Gocheok KT Wiz on April 18. It wasn’t enough to send her down to the second team, but the pain lingered and she watched the next few games from the bench.

After her condition improved, Kim returned to the lineup as a designated hitter against the Samsung Lions in Gocheok on the 26th. On the 28th, she was back in charge of the infield defense, batting third and playing second base. In that game, she also got her first hit since her return and adjusted her bat accordingly.

After losing seven straight games, Kiwoom desperately needed Kim Hye-sung to regain her hitting touch. As valuable as she is as a defender, Kim Hye-sung was needed as a No. 3 hitter to turn the tide of a batting slump.

“She’s not 100 percent yet, but I want to believe she is,” Hong Won-ki said before the game against Lotte on Tuesday, “and fortunately, I feel like she’s gaining strength in her batting from the game two days ago.

Kim Hye-sung, who received a lot of trust from her manager, had a perfect 100-point performance in the game. She batted third and went 4-for-5 with two home runs, five RBIs and two runs scored in the 9-7 victory. With runners on first and second with nobody out in the top of the first inning, he stole a leadoff three-run homer off starter Lee In-bok, and then hit a two-run solo shot in the eighth inning to make it 8-3 and snap a seven-game losing streak. Starting pitcher Enmanuel De Jesus faced eight hits in six and two-thirds innings, but minimized the damage to three earned runs to earn his fourth win of the season.

Lotte, on the other hand, lost their fourth straight game as starter Lee In-bok struggled, giving up five runs on five hits and one home run in four innings, including five runs in the first inning alone.

Kiwoom attacked the Lotte mound strongly from the start. In the first inning, leadoff hitter Lee Yong-kyu singled up the middle and Ronnie Dawson singled to left to put runners on first and second with no outs. Kim Hye-sung stepped to the plate and took Lee In-bok’s 142-kilometer-per-hour two-seam fastball over the right-field wall. The ball hit the stands and bounced back to the ground, making it unclear if it was a home run, but video 바카라사이트 review ruled it a home run.

After giving up three runs in one inning, Lee In-bok was shaken. He gave up consecutive singles to Choi Ju-hwan, Song Sung-moon and Byun Sang-kwon. He then struck out Joo Sung-won, but gave up a single to left to Kim Jae-hyun and a sacrifice fly to center to Kim Hwi-jip for two more runs.

With the game out of hand, Lotte had a valuable opportunity in the fourth inning. Leadoff hitter Jung Hoon singled to left-center and Jose Reyes singled to center to put runners on first and second with no outs, but the next two batters were stranded.

After surviving the threat, Kiwoom added another run in the sixth inning. With the bases loaded, Dawson hit a sacrifice fly to right field and Kim Hye-sung followed with an RBI single to right.

Lotte responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth on back-to-back RBI singles by Reyes and Jeon Jun-woo. In the seventh inning, Jeong Hoon doubled to right-center with two outs, but Koo Seung-min gave up back-to-back solo home runs to Dawson and Kim Hye-sung in the eighth inning.

After scoring one run in the eighth, Lotte added three more runs in the bottom of the ninth with back-to-back hits. However, they were unable to get any closer and lost 7-9.


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