San Francisco Giants’ Jung-Hoo Lee (26) celebrates his first major league home run.

Lee Jung-hoo went 1-for-4 with a double, a home run, two RBIs and one run scored while starting in center field against the San Diego Padres in the 2024 Major League Baseball season opener at Petco Park in San Diego, California, USA, on Wednesday. He continued his hot hitting with his first career home run.

With San Francisco leading 3-1 in the top of the eighth inning, Lee took a three-pitch, 77.8-mph (125.2-kilometer) sweeper off left-handed reliever Tom Cosgrove for a solo home run over the right-field wall. It was the first home run of his major league career.

In his postgame interview, Lee said, “I haven’t felt bad hitting lately. I kept hitting line-drive pitches. I thought that if the ball was up, it could be a home run. But I wasn’t aiming for a home run. I saw a pitcher I wasn’t familiar with, and I saw a fastball, and then a second sweeper-like pitch came in, and then another sweeper came in, and I turned the bat, and that’s what led to the good result,” he explained the home run situation.

Cosgrove, the left-hander Lee hit the home run against, is a very tricky pitcher for lefties because he throws a sidearm-like pitch with a big lateral sweeper. Lee hit his first career home run against such a pitcher. Manager Bob Melvin said, “His first home run off a left-hander is a pretty big deal. It’s impressive to see how he’s performing at this point in his career,” said Melvin.

“We had a similar type of pitcher in Korea,” said Lee, who added, “There’s a big difference in velocity, but I have a similar style to Kim Dae-yoo (KIA). I hit a little better against him. I think I hit a couple of home runs against (Kim) Dae-yu by hitting changeups with that kind of angle. It was similar to the course when I hit it in Korea. I felt like it was going to go over the plate. It felt good to get one more run. It wasn’t a big celebration, it was more like, ‘I hit a home run,’ and I knew the team could win,” he said.

Lee, who began his professional career with Nexen (now Kiwoom) as the first overall pick in the 2017 Rookie Draft, went 3-for-5 with two home runs, five RBIs, four runs scored, and one walk in his professional debut against Doosan on April 8, 2017, at Jamsil Stadium. “It took me seven games in Korea, but it took me three games in the major leagues, so I think the home run came quickly,” said Lee, who laughed. “I remember the moment when I hit the home run in Korea, and it was really my first professional home run. Now, it’s my first home run in the major leagues, so I don’t have much emotion. When I hit my first home run in Korea, it felt a little more like I was flying,” he said, recalling his first professional home run.

Lee’s home run hit 104.4 mph (168.0 km/h) and traveled 406 feet (124 meters). According to BaseballSabermetrics, the official statistics site of Major League Baseball, it was a home 바카라사이트 run in all 30 major league ballparks.

“I thought about what it would be like if I hit my first home run at home and it was a splash hit (a home run that goes over the right-field fence at Oracle Park in San Francisco and falls directly into McCovey Bay, where the ballpark is located),” Lee said. “I wonder if that would have happened if I hit the home run I hit today at home. I think it could have been a splash hit if it went towards the foul pole, but I think it went towards the right-center field and it would have been difficult.”

Lee, who has shown a lot in his first three major league games, emphasized that “I don’t think I’ve shown anything yet,” adding, “I’m just trying to adapt quickly and work hard every day, and I think I’m making good plays one by one. I didn’t come here to hit a home run. I have to work harder at my game. I think home runs come from trying to get on base. I’m not thinking about 30 home runs. I’ll hit 30 homers in my next life. I’m going to focus on what I can do,” he said, vowing to do better.

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