The Kia Tigers raised hopes for ‘fall baseball’ despite the absence of their top hitters.
The Tigers used their bats to win 6-4 against the visiting NC Dinos of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at NC Park in Changwon on Saturday.
With the win, KIA, which has 62 wins, 61 losses, two draws and a winning percentage of 0.504, moved to within half a game of fifth-place SSG Landers (64 wins, 62 losses, two draws and a winning percentage of 0.508).
KIA starter Kim Gun-guk, who hasn’t won a game this season, and NC’s Eric Peddie, the best foreign pitcher in the league, faced off in the first inning, but it was a tight pitching battle until the midway point.
Pedi pitched through the sixth inning, striking out eight and allowing just three hits and one run, but was left without a win, while Kim did his part with 4⅔ innings of five-hit ball.
KIA has recently lost center fielders Na Sung-bum and Choi Hyung-woo to injury, but the offense showed strong cohesion in the first inning.
After a perfect third inning, KIA got on the board in the top of the fourth when Ko Jong-wook led off with a double to left-center and Kim Do-young followed with a single to left to put runners on second and third.
Socrates Brito’s grounder to the infield was turned into a fielder’s choice, giving KIA a 1-0 lead.
NC responded after a pitching change when Park Min-woo singled up the middle and Park Gun-woo followed with a double to left-center to make it 1-1.
The balance tipped in KIA’s favor in the seventh inning.
With Pedi down in the top of the seventh and Ryu Jin-wook in relief, KIA scored five runs to take the win.
After three consecutive singles by Socrates, Kim Sun-bin, and Lee Woo-sung gave KIA a 2-1 lead, a sacrifice bunt was followed by RBI singles by Kim Tae-gun and Park Chan-ho to make it 4-1.
With runners on second and third, they took advantage of a throwing error by NC second baseman Park Min-woo to score two runs and extend the lead to 6-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, Jason Martin and Seo Ho-cheol each hit solo home runs to cut the deficit to 3-6.
In the bottom of the ninth, they had runners on second and third with no outs, but were unable to capitalize on a subsequent groundout.
NC Peddie, who is 19-6 on the season, lowered his ERA from 2.13 to 2.10 and struck out 189 batters on the season.
Meanwhile, the KT Wiz-LG Twins (Jamsil), Doosan Bears-SSG Landers (Incheon), and Samsung Lions-Hanwha Eagles (Daejeon) games scheduled for the day were canceled due to rain. 토토사이트