A seventh-inning three-run homerun from Dixon Machado put an early pitching battle in the rearview mirror for the Lotte Giants, helping give them a 7-2 win over the KT Wiz on KBO opening day.
The win came without a live audience at the Suwon KT Wiz Park due to precautions as South Korea slowly comes out of a COVID-19 quarantine.
The Big Plays
Wiz first got on the board in the second inning, with an error in fielding a ground ball by Han Dong-hee bringing Yoo Han-joon home.
The Giants came back with a run of their own in the fifth, with Machado bringing Hoon Jung in with a hit.
Kang Baek-ho launched a ball past right field for a homerun that put the Wiz back ahead
Giants moved up to a 4-2 lead in the seventh inning after Machado hit a three-run homerun against reliever Kim Jae-yoon.
Jeon Jun-woo got his own two-run homer an inning later over Wiz reliever Lee Sang-ha. Later in the eighth, a sacrifice fly from Jung Hoon brought Son Ah-seop in to score the seventh run.
Kim Wong-joon pitched the final three outs for the Giants, striking out two of the batters.
Wiz pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne worked for six full innings, allowing six hits and earning eight strikeouts along the way. Despaigne made his KBO regular season debut in this game, playing with the Chicago White Sox in the 2019 season.
Giants starter Dan Straily allowed only three hits before being pulled late in the sixth. Similar to the Wiz starter, Straily made his first KBO appearance in this game.
The game started just over an hour late due to rain delay, making it the latest starting game of the five on the matchday, among many which were delayed by rain.
The second game of the series between the Giants and Wiz has a start time of 6:30PM KST (5:30AM EDT).
Around The KBO
On the road, the Hanhwa Eagles kicked off their season with a 3-0 win over SK Wyverns. Wyverns were limited to two hits in nine innings by Warwick Saupold, who enters his second season as an Eagle.
LG Twins sealed win over defending champions Doosan Bears after an eighth-inning rally extending their lead by five runs. The game ended with Twins on top 8-2.
Broadcasted to American fans on ESPN, NC Dinos put on a homerun show, hitting three into the stands for a 4-0 win over the Samsung Lions.
A late rally wasn’t enough for the Kia Tigers, who fell 11-2 at home against the Kiwoon Heroes.