The SSG Landers defeated the KIA Tigers for the second straight day to maintain their lead at the top of the standings.
SSG won a hard-fought 9-8 victory against KIA in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League on Sunday at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju.
SSG, which won 2-1 the previous day in a tightly contested pitcher’s duel, won a one-run game for the second straight day to extend its lead over second-place LG Twins to 1.5 games.
KIA scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning on back-to-back home runs by Socrates Brito and Choi Hyung-woo. SSG responded with back-to-back doubles by Kang Jin-sung and Choi Ji-hoon in the top of the third, followed by RBI singles by Choi Jung and Oh Tae-gon to make it 3-2.
KIA answered back in the bottom of the third inning with a three-run home run by Socrates, a solo shot to right field, to regain the lead at 5-3.
SSG then scored a run in the top of the fourth inning on back-to-back singles by Choi Ji-hoon, Park Sung-sung, and Choi Jeong, followed by a two-run double by Guillermo Heredia to make it 6-5.
In the top of the fifth, Oh Tae-gon and Kim Min-sik added a pair of runs on RBI singles to chase KIA starter Yang Hyun-jong off the mound. Yang Hyun-jong, who was roughed up for a whopping nine runs in two innings against Lotte on the previous two days, had another rough outing today, giving up seven runs on 11 hits in 4½ innings.
SSG scored a run in the top of the seventh inning on a squeeze bunt by Kim Min-sik to make it 8-5. KIA scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but SSG tied the game in the top of the ninth with a run-scoring single by Kim Sung-hyun.
KIA had a golden opportunity to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but a sacrifice fly by Ko Jong-wook was all they could muster.
SSG’s second pitcher after Baek Seung-geon (5 runs in 2⅔ innings), high school rookie Lee Roon threw 1⅓ innings of one-hit ball to earn his first win.
In the ninth inning, reliever Seo Jin-yong gave up a hit and two walks to load the bases with nobody out, but narrowly escaped with the win to improve to 20 saves (1 win).
In Daegu, the NC Dinos defeated the Samsung Lions 4-0 behind a strong performance from starter Lee Yong-jun. NC starter Lee Yong-jun pitched five innings of seven-hit shutout ball to improve to 3-2 on the season. The fourth-place NC moved to within 2.5 games of the third-place Lotte Giants. 안전놀이터
At the Gocheok Dome, the LG Twins and Kiwoom Heroes battled to a 5-5 tie in extra innings.
With the game tied 3-3 and heading into extra innings, LG took a 5-3 lead in the top of the 12th when Park Dong-won hit a two-run double. However, Kiwoom tied the game in the bottom of the 12th after Lee Jung-hoo walked and pinch-hitter Kim Soo-hwan hit a two-run home run to left field.
Home run leader Park Dong-won went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, including his 14th home run of the day. With runners on first and second in the bottom of the ninth, Lee drew his first career walk against LG closer Ko Woo-seok.