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LG achieves 70 wins in the ‘Daejeon Challenge’

LG achieves 70 wins in the ‘Daejeon Challenge’, with No. 2 KT team Kang Baek-ho winning in relief of Man Rupo.

The LG Twins are on track to reach 70 wins for the first time in 29 years.

LG defeated the KIA Tigers 12-2 on Monday at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju in the visiting Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League.

It was LG’s 70th win this season (44 losses and two ties).

Excluding 1985-1988, when the league was a post-war league, and 1999-2000, when it was a bi-national league, teams with 70 wins have won the regular season title 25 of 33 times (75.8%).

Teams with 70 regular-season wins have also won the Korean Series 20 of 33 times (60.6%).

LG reached 70 wins for the first time in 10 years in 2013.

However, in 2013, LG finished the regular season in second place behind the Samsung Lions and lost to the Doosan Bears in the playoffs to reach the Korean Series.

This year, with a 6.5-game lead over second-place KT WIZ, the team is well positioned to reach the Korean Series for the first time in 21 years since 2002.

Furthermore, LG is challenging to win the combined title (regular season and Korean Series) for the first time in 29 years since 1994.

LG got its first chance in the top of the first inning when Shin Min-jae drew a walk. The next batter, Kim Hyun-soo, hit a double to left-center field, and Kia center fielder Choi Won-jun failed to make the first catch, allowing Shin to reach home.

In the fourth inning, Austin Dean led off with a walk and Moon Bo-kyung followed with a single to left-center to put runners on first and third. Oh Ji-hwan hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score another run for LG.

LG scored four runs in the sixth inning to seal the victory.

With runners on first and second, Moon Bo-kyung’s bunt went straight to the pitcher.

With a runner on third base, there was plenty of time to make the catch, but KIA pitcher Choi Ji-min, who caught the ball, lost his balance and fell, making a bad throw to third base.

Meanwhile, second baseman Kim Hyun-soo rounded third base and crossed home plate, with Austin at third and Moon Bo-kyung at first.

The next batter, Oh Ji-hwan, doubled to center field and came home on Moon Sung-joo’s sacrifice fly to center field.

KIA got one run back in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Kim Sun-bin, but the white flag was raised in the top of the seventh after giving up six runs on four walks and laxity on defense.

LG starter Kim Yoon-sik pitched 5⅔ innings of seven-hit, one-run ball to earn his first win (4-4) in nearly four months since May 21 against the Hanwha Eagles.

Second-place KT defeated the SSG Landers 16-7 at home in Suwon.

KT gave up two runs in the top of the first inning, but bounced back with six runs in the bottom of the inning on six hits and one walk.

SSG responded with three runs of their own in the second inning, and the game became a back-and-forth affair.

KT’s Kang Baek-ho hit a pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the inning.

With two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning and a 9-5 lead, Kang hit a home run over the right field wall. It was Kang’s second career grand slam.

The third-place NC Dinos extended their winning streak to four games with a 4-3 victory over the Lotte Giants in Changwon.

Lotte sent their “bullpen nucleus” Kim Sang-soo to the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning with a 3-2 lead.

However, Kim gave up a straight fly ball to the first batter, Son As-seob, and a fastball to Seo Ho-cheol.

He then threw four pitches in a row to Park Gun-woo to load the bases with no outs before collapsing on the mound.

Kim Sang-soo, who was making his 63rd appearance of the season, was eventually taken off the mound due to right adductor muscle spasms.

All nine pitches he threw were balls.

Taking over the mound, Shin Jeong-rak cooked Jason Martin with a fielder-catcher-pitcher (first base cover) double.

However, with runners on second and third, Kwon Hee-dong beat out Shin for a two-run double to left field.

Lotte had runners on first and second with no outs in the top of the ninth, but Jeon Jun-woo was retired on an infield single and Kim Min-seok grounded out to first base to end the game.

The sixth-ranked Doosan Bears rallied for an 8-7, ninth-inning victory over the Samsung Lions at home in Jamsil.

Down 6-7 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Doosan started the comeback when leadoff hitter Kim Jae-hwan drew a walk.

A sacrifice bunt by pinch-hitter Lee Yoo-chan allowed Kim to reach second base, and the next batter, Kang Seung-ho, singled up the middle to tie the game at 7-7.

Kang Seung-ho raced to second base as Song headed home.

Samsung walked Park Jun-young to load the bases with runners on first and second and pinch-hitter Park Kye-beom stepped to the plate.

Park took a two-seam fastball from Samsung right-handed reliever Kim Tae-hoon.

The fastball was aimed toward third base, and the ball hit the glove of Samsung third baseman Ryu Ji-hyuk and bounced out of the foul line. Meanwhile, second baseman Kang Seung-ho rounded third base and crossed home plate.

The scorekeeper recorded the play as Ryu’s final out, his first of the season and 85th of his KBO career.

In Gochuk, the Hanwha Eagles defeated the Kiwoom Heroes 6-5 in 12 extra innings.

Hanwha won its third straight game to move into eighth place, while last-place (10th) Kiwoom lost its fourth straight.

Hanwha’s Nick Williams, who celebrated his birthday today, hit a solo shot in the fourth inning to start the rally, and then the game-winning solo arch in the 12th inning of extra innings.

Trailing 4-5 in the top of the ninth, Hanwha extended the game with runners on first and third on Moon’s RBI single.

Two batters later in the top of the 12th inning, Williams put the game out of reach with a solo shot to right-center field.

Hanwha right-handed pitcher Kim Kyu-yeon, who joined the team in 2021, entered the game in the bottom of the 12th inning with runners on first and second, but got Kim Xiang to fly out to shortstop for his first career save.

The KBO has nine games in nine days.

Jamsil (Samsung-Dusan), 먹튀검증 Gochuk (Hanwha-Kiwoom), Gwangju (LG-KIA), and Changwon (Lotte-NC) will host the first doubleheaders of the season. Suwon (SSG-kt) will play just one game at 5pm.


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