Kia extended its winning streak to eight games in 751 days.
Kia won 8-6 against SSG at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on Aug. 3. The team has won eight games in a row since August 24 against KT in Suwon, marking its first eight-game winning streak in two years since July 1, 2021 against NC and August 13 against SSG.
메이저사이트With the eight-game winning streak, KIA dropped NC, which lost to Samsung 1-6 on the day, to fifth place. With 56 wins, 2 draws and 50 losses, KIA moved into fourth place, 0.0005 ahead of NC (57 wins, 2 draws and 51 losses) in the win percentage without a loss. After falling as low as ninth in early July, KIA is now in fourth place for the first time in four months since May 9, the start of the season. They are now 1.5 games behind third-place SSG, which has lost four straight games.
Despite a less-than-perfect mound situation, Kia’s offense has been the driving force behind their upward trend.
The Kia bats, which have been exploding since midsummer, didn’t stop today. After scoring 22 runs against SSG in the previous two days, KIA scored eight runs today and 30 runs in three days off SSG’s mound. During the eight-game winning streak, the team is batting .337 with 71 runs scored.
Starter Lee Yi-ri returned to the lineup after being sidelined with a sore shoulder, but he threw 85 pitches in just three innings, giving up four runs on four hits (two homers) and three walks. It was a close game due to the early use of the bullpen.
KIA’s Kim Tae-gun roars after hitting the tying run in the top of the eighth inning against SSG in Incheon on Wednesday. Courtesy of the KIA Tigers
After scoring four runs in the first inning on SSG’s Oh Won-seok’s wobbly delivery, the KIA bats stalled after Lee’s hard plate. After a shaky start in which Oh Won-seok threw 38 pitches in the second inning, he was only able to score one run after the third inning.
With the score tied at 4-4 in the top of the fifth, Park Chan-ho doubled and Kim Do-young singled to make it 5-4, but in the bottom of the fifth, Choi Jung hit a two-run homer to cut the deficit to 5-6.
In the final inning, however, the KIA bats came alive against SSG’s Pil Seung-gye-tujo.
Trailing 5-6 in the top of the eighth inning, Kia loaded the bases with one out on a single to right-center by Kim Sun-bin, bringing in SSG closer Seo Jin-yong. Against Seo, who has just one blown save this season, KIA rattled off three straight hits. After Hwang Dae-in singled in the seventh to put runners on first and second, Kim Tae-gun singled up the middle in the eighth to tie the game at 6-6. Ko Jong-wook followed with an RBI single to left field in the ninth to make it 7-6 and give Seo his second blown save of the season.
KIA drove in the winning run in the top of the ninth with a solo home run to right field by leadoff hitter Kim Do-young, and the bullpen, which utilized a middle-of-the-order lineup of Park Joon-pyo (1 inning), Kim Dae-yu (0.1 inning), Jang Hyun-sik (1 inning), Choi Ji-min (0.2 inning), Jeon Sang-hyun (1 inning), and Lim Ki-young (1 inning), closed out the ninth with a perfect ninth inning to secure its eighth straight win in front of a sellout crowd at Landers Field for the second straight night.
KIA outfielders Lee Chang-jin, Socrates, and Na Sung-beom (from left) celebrate after securing their eighth straight win against the SSG in Incheon on Wednesday. Courtesy of the KIA Tigers
“I want to praise the players for their strong concentration,” said KIA manager Kim Jong-kook. In the top of the eighth inning, Kim Tae-gun hit a valuable tying run, pinch-hitter Ko Jong-wook delivered as expected, and Kim Do-young hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning to extend the winning streak. Park Chan-ho created a lot of chances as a leadoff hitter, and Kim Sun-bin also showed good form with a three-hit game,” he said, praising the batters who played well in the second half of the game.
“Our starter Lee Yi-ri went off the mound early, but the pitchers who came in afterward all did their job, especially Im Ki-young, who came back from a one-run lead, and Jung Hae-young, who was perfect in her first save opportunity in a long time,” said Kim Jong-guk, who also encouraged the bullpen.