Baseball’s Kiwoom Heroes fell into a nine-game losing streak as they failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities despite a 104-pitch outing from ace Ahn Woo-jin, tying the club’s longest losing streak in franchise history.
Kiwoom fell 1-3 in a home game against the Lotte Giants at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Aug. 8. Korea’s top pitcher Ahn Woo-jin did his job with five and two-thirds scoreless innings, but the offense was once again hampered by a lackluster performance, averaging just 3.5 runs in six games in August before the game.
Kiwoom’s slump began as free agent signing Lee Hyung-jong struggled and existing foreign hitter Edison Russell was plagued by injuries. On March 22, even their top hitter Lee Jeong-hoo suffered a left ankle injury that dropped the team to ninth place in the standings, prompting the team to trade Choi Won-tae to LG for a prospect, effectively ending their season.
The losing streak has now stretched to nine games, dating back to last month’s 29th game against the Samsung Lions, the day of the trade. Kiwoom last lost a franchise-record nine games in a row in May 2009, when it was playing for its predecessor Nexen.
Lotte, on the other hand, continued its winning streak after recording the third team no-hitter in league history against SSG Landers on April 6. They closed to within three games of the sixth-place KIA Tigers, whose game was canceled due to heavy rain that day.
The balance was tipped in the fifth inning. Kim Min-seok singled off Ahn Woo-jin’s fastball, and Noh Jin-hyuk hit a single to reliever Lee Myung-jong, but the center fielder dropped the ball, allowing the runner to score from first base. Kiwoom’s Kim Hwi-jip tied the game in the bottom of the eighth with a solo home run over the left field fence off Choi Joon-yong, but Lotte answered with a run on Ahn Chi-hong’s single and an error by the shortstop in the next at-bat.
Barnes pitched five and two-thirds scoreless innings for Lotte, giving up five hits and striking out seven. At the plate, Kim Min-seok went 3-for-3 with a double, a run 먹튀검증 scored and two walks.
Kim Hwi-jip went 3-for-4 with a home run in the No. 4 spot, but Kiwoom’s offense was not as smooth as it could have been as the only three-hole hitter in the lineup, other than Lee Jung-hoo, who was out with an injury, was knocked out of the game after being hit in the knee by a foul ball.
The NC Dinos defeated SSG 2-0 in Incheon to extend their winning streak to five games. In Suwon, KT WIZ defeated the Hanwha Eagles 7-2, and in Jamsil, the Doosan Bears beat Samsung 5-3. The KIA-LG Twins game in Gwangju was canceled due to rain.