SEOUL-- They went back and forth all night long, and in the end, the LG Twins defeated the Doosan Bears 4-3 to snap their season-worst losing streak at three games on Tuesday.
Two sacrifice flies in the bottom of the eighth inning proved to be the difference, as the Twins beat the Bears for the third time in four meetings this season at Jamsil Baseball Stadium.
The Twins staged the decisive rally against one of the best closers in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) this year, Kim Kang-ryul. The Bears sent the right-hander to the hill to begin the eighth inning, with the Bears leading 3-2 and the meat of the Twins' order due up, hoping Kim would lock down his first two-inning save of the season.
Kim entered the game having not allowed a run in 14 2/3 innings, while collecting eight saves and three relief wins over his previous 13 outings.
That scoreless streak ended in the fateful eighth. No. 3 hitter Hong Chang-ki greeted Kim with a single, and Kim Hyun-soo followed up with a double. Chae Eun-seong then drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly to deep center.
Moon Bo-gyeong then brought home the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly of his own, putting the Twins up 4-3.
LG closer Go Woo-suk pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save.
The two starting pitchers, Choi Won-joon for the Bears and Adam Plutko for the Twins, traded zeroes until the Bears drew first blood in the top of the fourth.
With two outs in that inning, cleanup Kim Jae-hwan smacked a solo shot to put the Bears up 1-0. Plutko had limited the Bears to just one single and had retired nine straight batters before Kim took him deep.
The Twins claimed the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom fifth. Oh Ji-hwan led off the frame with a solo shot off Choi. After an error and a single put two runners aboard, Hong Chang-ki cashed in the go-ahead run with a single to left.
The Bears responded immediately in the top sixth with two runs.
They began the rally with an infield single, a double and a walk that loaded the bases. Plutko was pulled, and facing reliever Jung Woo-young, Heo Kyoung-min bounced into a 6-4-3 double play that only got one run across the plate.
Kang Seung-ho then drove in the next Bears run with a single up the middle.
With the Bears up 3-2, Choi kept things that way by striking out the side in the bottom sixth.
After a quiet top seventh by the Bears, the Twins threatened in the bottom half of that inning. But after a double and a walk had runners at the corners with one out, Moon Sung-ju hit into a rally-killing, 4-6-3 double play.
The Twins seemed headed for their fourth straight loss, with Kim Kang-ryul on the mound to begin the eighth inning, but back-to-back sac flies did the trick.
Source: Yonhap News Agency