The Kia Tigers and hosting Lotte Giants won a game each in their doubleheader of matches on Friday. Their three-game series, which also saw the Tigers win on Thursday, took place at the Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, South Korea.
The afternoon game saw the Tigers win, with a solo home run late in the game giving the team 6-3 lead that wasn’t responded to by the Giants.
The evening matchup was a win for the Giants, with the home team winning 9-7, being able to answer back from late scoring attempts by the Tigers.
Home Run From Choi Gives Tigers Afternoon Win
The first run of the afternoon game came in early, as a ground ball from Tigers player Na Ji-wan drove home a runner. Another ground out scored a run in the fifth inning, this time coming off the bat of Preston Tucker.
Pinch hitter Choi Won-joon scored a run an inning later, hitting a ball into the outfield to make the game 3-0 for the Tigers. Despite starter Seo Jun-won being taken out of the game, the run was scored against him as he allowed runner Na Ji-wan to get on base.
The Giants battled back in the seventh and eighth inning, scoring runs in each. The seventh saw the end of Tigers starting pitcher Yang Hyun-jong’s run, as he was taken out of play after loading up the bases.
Relievers Hong Sang-sam and Lee Joon-young were able to share the rest of the inning, although they both walked home a run. In the eighth inning, a sacrifice fly from Lee Dae-ho tied up the game. The run was scored against Jung Hae-young.
The Tigers took the game in the ninth, as Choi Hyung-woo hit a three-run home run against closer Kim Won-joong. Due to the play, the game’s loss was given to Kim.
Jang Hyun-shik was given the win for the game after earning three outs in the eighth. A closing performance from Jeong Sang-hyun gave the Tigers pitcher his 11th save of the season.
Giants Hold On For Late Night Victory
While the Giants held the lead for most of the evening game, it was the Tigers who scored first. In the first inning, a hit from Choi Hyun-woo drove home a run.
In the second inning, the Giants tied up the game. Shin Bon-gi drove home a run to tie it up. An inning later, another run came in off of a ground ball from Heo Il.
Shin put down two more RBIs in the sixth inning, driving home two runs. This caused the end of starting pitcher Im Ki-young’s run in the game. Reliever Kim Myung-chan came in, although against the next batter, Lee Byung-kyu, he gave up a two-run home run to make the game 6-1.
Im was handed a loss for the game, moving his 2020 record to 6-8. Im’s record has moved into the negatives in the past two months due to a slump in his performance. His last win came in late July, and since then he has been given four losses through five appearances.
Giants pitcher Dan Straily was taken out of play after seven innings of work. Allowing four hits and one run, Straily also earned six strikeouts, moving his 2020 count to a league leading toll of 144. Straily’s 2020 record is now 10-4, making him the sixth pitcher in the KBO to reach double digits of wins.
The Tigers had a late push of runs in the eighth inning. Against releiver Koo Seung-min, a hit from Preston Tucker and a two-run home run from Choi Hyung-woo made the game 6-5. The home run for Choi ended a strong three-game series from him which saw a home run in each appearance.
Park Jin-hyung repalced Koo in the eighth, earning three outs and ending the inning without allowing any more runs.
Extending their lead, the Giants brought in three runs in the eighth inning. Their scoring started early, as a solo home run from Lee Dae-ho kicked off the inning against reliever Jang Hyun-shik.
Hits from Shin Bon-gi and Jung Hoon against Nam Jae-hyun later in the inning made the game 9-5.
Not being able to take back the game, the Tigers were able to score two runs late. Tucker, who drove home two runs in the eighth, took in two more with a hit against Giants closer Kim Won-joong, who had also played in the afternoon game.
Tigers Keep Lead Over Giants Following Series
Close in the standings, the three-game series between the Tigers and Giants ends with the Tigers one-and-a-half games ahead of the Giants for sixth in the KBO.
The Giants will stay home for their Saturday and Sunday games, playing the LG Twins for a series. Having played them six times this year, the Giants are tied 3-3 with the Twins in 2020.
The first pitch for Saturday’s KBO games is set for 5:00PM KST (4:00AM EDT).
Around The KBO
Sweeping a three-game series against the SK Wyverns, the KT Wiz won a doubleheader on Friday with scores of 10-2 and 7-5.
Lead by their starting pitcher, Kim Min-woo, who earned seven strikeouts in his six-inning performance, the Hanwha Eagles defeated the Kiwoom Heroes 7-1.
Consistent scoring for the Samsung Lions gave them a 12-5 win over the 2019 KBO Champions, the Doosan Bears on Friday.
After five hours and 18 minutes of play, the longest a game has gone in the 2020 KBO season so far, the NC Dinos and LG Twins tied 5-5.