The “defending champion” LG Twins beat Hanwha 8-2 with Ryu Hyun-jin in the opening game of the 2024 Shinhan Bank SOL Bank KBO League held at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on the 23rd.

LG’s new first starter Detrick Ence became the winning pitcher by blocking seven hits, two walks and one strikeout, four strikeouts and two runs in six innings.

In the batting lineup, table setters Park Hae-min (two hits in four at-bats, one RBI, one run and three steals) and Hong Chang-ki (one hit in three at-bats, two walks, two RBIs and one stolen base) led the attack, while the ninth batter Shin Min-jae also played a big role with two hits, three RBIs and one run in four at-bats.

Ryu, who returned to the KBO League for the first time in 12 years, was sluggish by allowing six hits, three walks and five runs (two earned) in three ⅔ innings, and suffered a bruising loss. Ryu lost his 53rd game (98 wins).

The game drew attention as a stage for Ryu’s return. From 2013 to 2023, Ryu ranked first in the ERA and second in the Cy Young Award in the Major League.

It has been less than a year since he returned from elbow ligament joint surgery two years ago, but he was expected to pitch overwhelmingly in the KBO League as he proved to be healthy for half a season last year.

However, LG also showed confidence by sticking to its main lineup and going head-to-head. “Our hitters will be able to target Ryu,” LG manager Yeom Kyung-yeop said.

As Ryu had expected, LG’s batters hit Ryu’s pitches as hard as they could. With the bases loaded with two outs and two hits and one walk in the bottom of the second inning, Shin hit a two-run timely hit by hitting Ryu’s fastball.

Hanwha, which is considered to be an ambush in this season, also had a hard time falling apart. They balanced the game 2 to 2 by garnering points each with Jonathan Peraza’s RBI double in the top of the third inning and Choi Jae-hoon’s push-off ball in the top of the fourth inning.

However, the Hanwha Eagles failed to take advantage of the chance to come from behind. With no outs in the top of the second inning and runners on the first and third bases with no outs in the top of the third inning, the Eagles hit an infield grounder twice in the top of the fourth inning, failing to score a massive amount of points.

LG, which blocked Hanwha’s counterattack well, took the lead by scoring three points in the bottom of the fourth inning.

The tide changed when second baseman Moon Hyun-bin made a catch error on Shin Min-jae’s grounder, with two outs and a runner on the first base. LG didn’t miss a lucky chance. Park Hae-min hit a timely hit, Hong Chang-ki hit a timely two-run homer to make it 5-2 and Kim Hyun-soo hit a hit to the left-center field, knocking Ryu off the mound.

LG, which increased its momentum, added one point each in the bottom of the fifth, the bottom of the seventh, and the bottom of the eighth, and Hanwha’s willingness to chase was completely broken.

In the Incheon game, where the teams with changed coaches faced off, SSG beat the “distribution rival” Lotte Giants 5-3.

Coach Lee Sung-yong, who took the helm, won the opening game at home. On the other hand, Kim Tae-hyung, who has won the Korean Series three times, lost in his debut game as the Lotte Giants coach.

SSG starter Kim Kwang-hyun became the winning pitcher by allowing six hits (one homer) and two walks, striking out six and allowing three runs during five innings. Kim garnered his 159th career win (88 losses).

SSG won the game with a home run in the bottom of the third inning when the game was 2 to 2. Choi Jeong pulled Lotte starter Aaron Wilkerson’s first pitch of 132 kilometers to the left-wall home run with two outs and a runner on second base.

Choi Jeong-eun, who shot a career-high 459 home runs, is one step closer to Doosan Bears manager Lee Seung-yeop’s most home runs (467).

Choi Jeong also hit a timely hit in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs and runners on second base to seal the victory.

Moon Seung-won, who took the mound in the top of the ninth inning with a two-run lead, neatly blocked the first inning and made a save

In the Suwon game, where the only extra-time struggle took place, the Samsung Lions laughed. In an away game against KT Wiz at KT Wiz Park in Suwon, Samsung scored four points in the top of the 10th inning alone to win 6-2.

In the bottom of the eighth inning when Samsung was 3-3 with two outs and runners on first and second bases, right fielder Kim Sung-yoon saved Kang Baek-ho’s long hit with a “super catch” to prevent the loss.

Samsung, which led the game to extra time, succeeded in targeting KT closer Park Young-hyun in the top of the 10th inning.

Samsung put forward a pinch hitter Kim Hyun-joon card with the bases loaded with one out, and Kim Hyun-joon lived up to expectations with a timely hit in the middle. Ryu Ji-hyuk’s push-off walk and Kim Young-woong’s two-run timely hit followed by a 6-2 run.

For Samsung, starting pitcher Connor Seabold allowed two runs (one earned run) in six innings, and starting in the seventh inning, Lim Chang-min, Kim Jae-yoon, and Oh Seung-hwan threw “golden pitching” in succession. Oh became the winning pitcher of the opening game.

The NC Dinos defeated Doosan 4-3 with Matt Davidson’s walk-off hit in the Changwon game.

NC was held scoreless by Doosan starter Raul Alcantara until the bottom of the sixth inning, but the team scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh and one run in the bottom of the eighth, making it 3-3. And with the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Davidson hit a finishing hit to end the win.

Davidson, who entered the KBO League this year, became the fourth player in history to end his first hit in his debut game with a finishing hit.

Taking the mound as relief pitcher with two outs and a runner on first base in the top of the ninth inning, Lee finished the inning without throwing a single ball, and later became a winning pitcher thanks to batters’ assistance. He also set a new record as the first pitcher to win the game with 0 pitches (minimum number of pitches).

Doosan rookie pitcher Kim Taek-yeon, who made a strong impression by striking out LA Dodgers batters earlier in the Major League Seoul Series special match, had a harsh experience in his professional debut. Kim took the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning with a 2-0 lead, and recorded a poor performance and blon save by allowing two runs, two hits and three outs in one inning.

In the Gwangju game, the KIA Tigers came from behind to win 7-5 against the Kiwoom Heroes.

KIA, which gave two points in the top of the first inning, turned the tide by scoring five points en masse in the bottom of the first inning. Choi Won-joon’s solo shot also added two points in the bottom of the fourth inning.

KIA starting pitcher Will Crow allowed five runs (four earned runs) in five ⅔ innings, but became a winning pitcher with the batting lineup’s strong scoring support on his back.

Kiwoom veteran Choi Joo-hwan hit a two-run shot in the top of the first inning to become the first home run of the season, but it faded due to the team’s defeat.

BY: 토토사이트

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