Defending KBO champions Twins beat Eagles to begin title defense

LG Twins starter Dietrich Enns pitches against the Hanwha Eagles during a Korea Baseball Organization Opening Day game at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul, March 23. Yonhap

The defending Korean baseball champions LG Twins defeated the Hanwha Eagles 8-2 to open their title defense Saturday, knocking down the Eagles’ ex-major league star Ryu Hyun-jin early in the process.

Light-hitting infielder Shin Min-jae welcomed Ryu back to the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) with a two-run single in the bottom of the second inning at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul, and the Twins scored five runs off Ryu in front of a sellout crowd of 23,750.

Shin drove in three runs for the Twins, one shy of his career high, and Dietrich Enns won his first KBO regular season start after holding the Eagles to two runs on seven hits in six innings. Leadoff man Park Hae-min stole three bases while picking up two hits.

Every Twins starter had at least a hit. The Twins pounded out 11 hits overall and also stole six bags.

Enns outdueled Ryu, who gave up five runs — three unearned — on six hits and three walks in only 3 2/3 innings. He did not have a strikeout.

This was Ryu’s first KBO regular season start since Oct. 4, 2012. He first pitched for the Eagles from 2006 to 2012 and then played the 토토 next 11 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) before reuniting with the Eagles in February with an eight-year, 17 billion-won (US$12.6 million) contract.

The Eagles couldn’t cash in after putting the first two runners aboard against Enns in the top of the second inning. Moon Hyun-bin failed to sacrifice the runners over, as his botched bunt attempt led to a forceout of the lead runner at third base. Kim Kang-min then bounced into an inning-ending double play.

The Twins made the Eagles pay by drawing the first blood in the bottom second.

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