Led by Moon Bo-kyung’s back-to-back home runs, the LG Twins extended their winning streak to five games and moved closer to the top of the regular season standings for the first time in 29 years.
LG held off a late rally from visiting Kia to win 4-3 in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju on Monday.
LG, which had set a target of 85 wins for a direct ticket to the Korean Series, harvested 75 wins (47 losses and two draws).
With just 20 games left in the regular season, LG needs just 10 more wins to reach its self-imposed goal.
Kia, on the other hand, dropped the game despite pitching Yang Hyun-jong and fell to a six-game losing streak on the threshold of fall baseball.
The LG offense was led by third baseman Moon Bo-kyung.
In her first at-bat in the second inning, Moon took advantage of a two-pitch fastball from Yang Hyun-jong and smashed a leadoff home run over the right field wall.
In the third inning, with runners on first and third, Moon once again crushed a three-run home run off Yang Hyun-jong to make it 4-0.
After hitting eight home runs in 2021 and nine in 2022, this was Moon’s first 10-homer season since her debut.
It was also Moon’s first career back-to-back home run.
Kia started the rally with a run-scoring homer by Choi Hyung-woo in the sixth, then cut the deficit to one in the eighth on a two-run double by Na Sung-beom.
The LG bench then used a rainstorm to bring in closer Go Woo-seok with no outs in the eighth.
He faced runners on first and third in the ninth, but got Kim Do-young to pop out to end the inning and preserve the win.
LG starter Lee Ji-gang earned his first career win with five innings of four-hit ball, one walk and one strikeout.
KIA starter Yang Hyun-jong lasted seven innings with five hits, two walks and four strikeouts, but gave up four runs on two home runs to Moon Bo-kyung to take his 10th loss of the season.
In Jamsil, the NC Dinos, led by ace Eric Peddie, defeated the Doosan Bears 2-1 to solidify their hold on third place.
On the day, Pedi dominated his opponent with six innings of one-hit ball, 106 pitches, one walk and 12 strikeouts.
His previous single-game high of 11 strikeouts, set twice this season, was surpassed by one.
In the top of the third inning, Pedi gave up a single to Park Kye-beom and a walk to Kim Jae-ho to put runners on first and second.
After striking out Yang Seok-hwan, he retired six straight batters until the second batter of the fifth inning, Park Kye-beom.
In the sixth, Pedi struck out Jung Soo-bin and Kim Jae-ho and got Yang Seok-hwan to fly out to shortstop to finish the job.
After taking a 2-0 lead with Park Gun-woo’s leadoff single in the third and Kwon Hee-dong’s sixth home run of the season in the sixth, NC was briefly threatened in the bottom of the ninth when Yang gave up a run-scoring single to Yang Ji, but held on for a 2-1 victory.
With the win, Pedi remained atop the league in wins (19), ERA (2.13), and strikeouts (181) and moved closer to winning the pitching triple crown.
In the big game, the SSG Landers snapped a five-game losing streak with a 5-3 come-from-behind victory over the Hanwha Eagles.
SSG pushed the KIA Tigers out of sixth place after one game and reclaimed fifth place.
It was Hanwha who struck first.
Hanwha scored three runs in the fourth inning, led by Kim Tae-yeon’s RBI single and Chae Eun-sung’s 18th two-run homer of the season.
SSG, which was still trailing, got a run back in the sixth on a leadoff home run by Guillermo Heredia and a sacrifice fly by Ha Jae-hoon.
In the top of the seventh, Choi Jeong-jeong tied the game at 3-3 with an RBI single before Han Yoo-seom hit the game-winning RBI double.
SSG starter Moon Seung-won pitched a career-high eight innings, allowing four hits (one home run) and three runs while striking out three to improve to 6-1 on the season.
SSG closer Seo Jin-yong earned his 36th save of the season, tying Ha Jae-hoon’s club record for most saves.
In Suwon, KT WIZ defeated the Samsung Lions 7-1 behind back-to-back home runs by Kang Baek-ho and Park Byung-ho.
Second-place KT maintained its 6.5-game lead over league leader LG. They are one game behind third-place NC.
KT took control of the game in the first inning with back-to-back home runs by Kang Baek-ho (Season 8) and Park Byung-ho (Season 15).
Trailing 2-1 in the fourth inning, back-to-back RBI singles by Choi Sung-ho and Hwang Jae-gyun plated two runs, and in the eighth, Hwang’s RBI double and Kang Baek-ho’s RBI single sealed the win.
KT starter Ko Young-pyo, who pitched six innings of nine-hit ball with two walks and four strikeouts, improved to 12-7 on the season and tossed 20 quality starts (six or more innings and three or fewer earned runs) for the third straight year.
In Busan, the Kiwoom Heroes snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory over the Lotte Giants behind the bat of Lee Ju-hyung.
Lee Ju-hyung hit his sixth home run of the season in the seventh inning, a two-run shot off Lotte second baseman Choi Joon-yong.
In the ninth inning, with the score tied 3-3 and runners on second and third, Lee put his knee on a six-pitch body pitch from Kim Won-joong and tried to take off with a body pitch, but was stopped by the umpire who pointed out his intentions.
He then took a forked ball from Kim Won-joong for a two-run triple.
Lee then came home on Song Sung-moon’s sacrifice fly to drive in the winning run. 파워볼게임