Against KIA, who handed April MVP Na Gyun-an (Lotte) his first loss, he was shaky early on but held on and pitched a quality start (6 innings, 3 earned runs or less). The batting lineup responded, but the trusted pitchers fell one after another, but the last bastion remained strong.
Lotte won 6-5 against the KIA Tigers at Sajik Stadium in Busan on March 3, thanks to Noh Jin-hyuk’s game-winning hit in the ninth inning.
Lotte set the tone for the series with a 14-2 victory the day before, and April MVP Na Kyun-ahn, who is now considered a homegrown ace, started the game. However, it was KIA who put the brakes on his run. In his first start of May, on May 3, Na took the loss against KIA, giving up five runs on five hits (one home run) in four innings with two walks and four strikeouts. It was his only loss of the season.
Lotte set the tone early, and Na was swept up in a similar mood as he was in his first loss. After giving up a leadoff double to Choi Hyung-woo to start the second inning, Na gave up a bases-loaded walk to Kim Seok-hwan, who was pinch-hitting, a sacrifice fly to Shin Beom-soo to right field, and a single to Ryu Ji-hyuk to right field.
However, no further runs were scored. In the third, Socrates gave up an infield single to lead off the inning, but struck out Choi Hyung-woo and got Kim Sun-bin to fly out to shortstop to end the inning. The fourth and fifth innings 스포츠토토 were consecutive triple plays. In the top of the sixth, he gave up a single to Choi Hyung-woo, but no further runs were scored. In the end, except for his second inning struggle, Na Gyun-an did his job with a quality start. His final line was 6 innings, 6 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, and 3 runs.
As Na Gyun-ahn continued his dominance on the mound, the silent bats finally responded in the bottom of the sixth inning. Two batters later, they scored four runs. With the bases loaded, Yoo Kang-nam hit a two-run double and pinch-hitter Jung Hoon followed with a two-run single to left to make it 4-3.
Naturally, they brought in the closer. In the seventh inning, Koo Seung-min took the mound for the first time. He retired the first two batters he faced. However, two batters later, he was hit by three straight hits. He gave up a single to Shin Beom-soo and a double to Ryu Ji-hyeok to put runners on first and second with two outs, then gave up a shortstop’s key to Park Chan-ho, who hit a line drive that dropped in front of the left field fence. He was unable to protect the run and tied the game at 4-4, but did not allow the lead to slip away.
In the bottom of the seventh, Ahn Chi-hong singled up the middle again to give Korea a 5-4 lead. However, this time, Kim Jin-wook and Kim Sang-soo faltered and collapsed at the same time. In the bottom of the eighth, Kim Jin-wook, who came to the plate to relieve Choi Hyung-woo, gave up a run on a wobbly pitch. Kim Sang-soo, who came up next, couldn’t get out of the jam either, giving up the tying run to pinch-hitter Lee Chang-jin in the top of the eighth. The score was tied at 5-5.
Closer Kim Won-joong was the only one left to rely on, and he came up with runners on first and third to get Shin Bum-soo to fly out to left field to end the top of the eighth.
In the ninth, he struck out leadoff hitter Ryu Ji-hyuk before giving up a walk to Park Chan-ho. However, he retired Socrates and struck out Choi Hyung-woo to end the threat of a ninth inning comeback.
In the ninth inning, the opportunity finally presented itself and Lotte capitalized, as Kim Won-joong served as the last man standing. Even with the bases loaded, Wonjoong Kim refused to ride the momentum and finished the game to secure the win for his team. In lieu of a save, Kim earned his third win of the season, allowing no runs on 21 hits in 1 1/3 innings with one walk and two strikeouts.