A back-and-forth battle went in favour of the Lotte Giants after a strong sixth inning performance over the Kiwoom Heroes. Finishing with a score of 9-7, the home win at the Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, Korea, broke the losing streak the Giants had.
The game saw four lead changes, with runs scored in seven of the nine innings played.
Early Momentum Swings
The first run came in when a throw to first by Heroes pitcher Jake Brigham missed the target, giving third base runner Son Ah-seop the chance to get home.
The lead was taken by the Heroes in the third inning, starting with a hit to left field from Park Dong-won that brought Kim Gyu-min home. After, Lee Jung-ho brought in Seo Keong-chang off of a sacrifice fly. Finishing the rally, Dong-won scored off of a fly ball from Park Byung-ho.
Later that inning, the Giants were able the tie the game after a single into left field from Lee Dae-ho brought two runners home, making the game 3-3.
Heroes Take Slight Lead
A ball hit perfectly into the left-center gap by Kim Gyu-min allowed Park Jeong-eum to come home, giving the Heroes a 4-3 lead.
Giants starter Noh Kyung-eun was taken out after four innings, allowing five hits and four runs.
Against Park Shi-young, the first of six relievers that the Giants brought in, Heroes designated hitter Park Dong-won hit a solo home run, his fourth of the season.
Shortening the Heroes lead to one run, a sacrifice fly from Lee Dae-ho allowed Min Byung-hun to get home.
After pitching five innings, the Heroes pulled their starter Jake Brigham, finishing with seven hits and four runs against.
Strong Sixth Inning Puts Giants Ahead For Good
The Giants took back the lead for the last time in the sixth after a triple from Min Byung-hun brought three runners home, making the game 5-7. He was drove home by Son Ah-seop in the following play.
The scoring came against Kim Jae-woong, who was given the loss for the game.
Giants Escape Jam, However, Not Unscathed
With bases loaded in the seventh, the Heroes had a chance to get in the lead again. One run was earned after Park Byung-ho was walked, forcing a man home from third.
With no outs, reliever Oh Hyun-taek was brought in to get the team out of the jam. While the team was able to get a double play, a runner came in to make the game 8-7. Hyun-taek was able to finish the inning.
An insurance run came in for the Giants in a double from Dixon Machado that took An Chi-hong home.
Giants closer Kim Won-joong got his first save of the season, making his record 1-0-1. Getting three strikeouts in his one-inning appearance, Giants pitcher Park Jin-hyung was awarded the win.
Giants Bounce Back, Heroes Compete For Spot
With the victory, the Giants won a game after losing their last four, including a series where the Kia Tigers swept them.
With a 9-7 record, the Heroes are now tied for fourth place in the KBO with the Kia Tigers.
The second game in the three-game series starts at 5:00PM KST (4:00AM EDT) on Saturday.
Around The KBO
Kicking off their series with an upset, the Hanhwa Eagles got a 5-3 win against first place NC Dinos, giving the Dinos their third loss of the season.
Two runs late in the ninth inning, including a game-winning hit from Kim Hyun-soo allowed the LG Twins to win 6-5 against the KT Wiz.
A run being forced home after Yoo Min-sang was hit by a pitch ended up being the deciding run in a low scoring 2-1 win for the Kia Tigers against the SK Wyverns.
In nothing short of a high scoring game, the Doosan Bears took a 12-7 win on the road against the Samsung Lions.