Kia proves to be KT’s nemesis once again.
Kia won 7-3 against KT at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on April 24. The team is now 7-2 against KT this season.
KIA, which leads the league in OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) in August, was held in check by KT ace Ko Young-pyo on the day, but was able to get the tying and winning runs from KT’s strong bullpen of Park Young-hyun and Kim Jae-yoon.
KIA is the only team KT currently trails in the head-to-head series. KT only got its second win of the season against KIA with a victory on April 22. Even the league’s ace, Ko Young-pyo, is winless against KIA. The “Innings Eater” has faced KIA twice this year, but only lasted nine innings, giving up six runs (five earned) and suffering two losses.
Young-pyo Ko, who was removed from the roster to rest after his start against NC on April 12, took the mound for the first time in 11 days. He pitched seven innings of six-hit ball with one walk, five strikeouts and two runs (one earned) for his 12th straight quality start and 18th overall. It was his seventh straight quality start and 16th of the season.
Despite the two runs off of Ko, Kia hung on. Panoni gave up a two-run homer to Oh Yoon-seok in the bottom of the fifth and pinch-hitter Jang Hyun-sik singled in Jang Jang-woo in the bottom of the sixth to cut the deficit to 2-3. Ko Young-pyo went to the mound looking for his first win against KIA this season.
However, as soon as he went down, KIA rallied to tie the game against Park Young-hyun, who is currently the league’s strongest pitcher. After the first inning, Park Chan-ho drew a walk and stole second base, and with two outs, Choi Hyung-woo hit a single to right-center field to bring home Park Chan-ho and tie the game at 3-3.
KT couldn’t capitalize on a rally in the bottom of the eighth. One out later, Park Kyung-soo led off with a big double off the right field fence and Oh Yoon-seok followed with a big hit in the same direction, but KIA right fielder Na Sung-beom made the catch. Jang Sung-woo was then retired on an infield grounder, ending KT’s scoring chances.
Despite the tie, KT brought in closer Kim Jae-yoon in the top of the ninth inning. Against Kim Jae-yoon, who hadn’t allowed a run in 10 innings of work in nine games in August, Kia had a chance to win the game.
After Kim Tae-gun led off the inning with a single and pinch-hitter Hong Jong-pyo advanced to second on an infield grounder by pinch-hitter Ko Jong-wook, Kim Jae-yoon sent No. 9 Kim Do-young on an automatic double play to put runners on first and second to face No. 1 Choi Won-joon. However, with two outs and two on, No. 2 Park Chan-ho lined a single to right to bring in two runners and make it 5-3. Na Sung-beom followed with a two-run triple to drive in a run for KIA.
“Before I went to bat, (hitting coach) Lee Bum-ho told me, ‘If you don’t hit it, you’re dead,'” laughed Park Chan-ho, who took a six-pitch forkball on a 2-2 count against Kim Jae-yoon for the game-winning hit, “I was confident. I waited for a changeup, and I was lucky to get one up the middle. I always have good hitters behind me in the batting order, whether I’m 토토사이트 batting at No. 9, No. 1 or No. 2. So I tend to get a lot of pitches in the count because they have to play me, so I don’t have a lot of pressure to bat. I’m always confident when I’m in scoring position.” Park’s .337 batting average with runners in scoring position this season is the best in the KIA and seventh best in the league.
“We were able to pull off the comeback because our batters were focused,” said KIA head coach Kim Jong-guk. With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Park Chan-ho swung at an unfavorable pitch and scored the winning run. There was also a decisive hit at the end of the eighth inning, and he did a good job in the field.” He praised Park’s performance.