Eagles’ Ryu Hyun-jin notches 100th KBO win

 Hanwha Eagles starter Ryu Hyun-jin pitches against the SSG Landers during a Korea Baseball Organization regular-season game at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon, 160 kilometers south of Seoul, on April 30, 2024. Yonhap

Hanwha Eagles starting pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin picked up his 100th career win in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) on Tuesday, the latest milestone in an illustrious career for the former major league All-Star.Ryu gave up two runs on seven hits in six innings against the SSG Landers, helping the Eagles to an 8-2 victory before a sellout crowd of 12,000 at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon, some 160 kilometers south of Seoul.Ryu improved to 2-3 for this season, while his ERA fell from 5.91 to 5.21. The 37-year-old is the 33rd pitcher in KBO history to reach the 100-win plateau.Ryu gave up the game’s first run in the top of the second. With runners on second and third, Park Ji-hwan slapped a comebacker off Ryu’s left foot. The ball floated toward third baseman Roh Si-hwan, who picked up the ball with his bare hand but couldn’t beat Park at first. That allowed Park Seong-han to score from third.The run was not charged to Ryu, as Park Seong-han had reached on a fielding error by second baseman Lee Do-yun.But Roh put his team ahead with a grand slam in the bottom third, changing the complexion of the game with one big swing. Landers starter Lee Ki-soon walked the bases loaded and then Roh made him pay with a towering shot to left for a 4-1 Eagles lead.

The Landers got a run back on Lee Ji-young’s sacrifice fly in the top fourth. But Roh came to Ryu’s aid with his defense at third.With runners on first and second, Choi Ji-hoon chopped a grounder down the third base. Roh fielded the ball as he fell and dove back to touch the third base bag with his glove to get the force out to end the Landers’ rally.With one out and men at first and second in the top fifth, Roh turned an inning-ending double play by fielding Guillermo Heredia’s grounder, stepping on the bag for the force and then throwing out Heredia at first.Ryu had his first and only three-up, three-down inning in the top sixth, when he retired the side in order on three straight groundouts.With his pitch count at a season-high 103 through six frames, Ryu handed the reins over to the bullpen.Three relief pitchers put up zeroes over the final three innings to make a winner out of Ryu.The Eagles blew the game wide open in the bottom seventh, putting up a four-spot with Yonathan Perlaza’s RBI single and An Chi-hong’s three-run double with the bases loaded.

This is Ryu’s second tour of duty with the Eagles, who drafted him out of high school in 2005. Ryu first pitched for them from 2006 to 2012 and then spent the next 11 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) before rejoining the Eagles in February this year. Ryu won 78 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Toronto Blue Jays.Ryu also won a mini-battle within the game against his old nemesis, Choi Jeong, who became the KBO’s all-time leader with his 468th home run last Wednesday. Choi had gone 21-for-58 with four dingers against Ryu between 2006 and 2012, but went 0-for-2 with a walk on Tuesday.The Landers’ own ex-major league All-Star, Choo Shin-soo, struck out in his first KBO at-bat against Ryu in the first inning, but then hit a single and a double in his next two trips.Ryu and Choo met once during their big league careers — on July 27, 2013, with Ryu pitching for the Dodgers and Choo playing for the Cincinnati Reds. Choo went 0-for-2 with a walk then.Ryu won 98 games during his first Eagles stint and then earned his first win since the return on April 11 against the Doosan Bears. He reached the century mark in his third try.After getting a no-decision against the NC Dinos on April 17, Ryu took a loss against the KT Wiz last Wednesday after allowing seven runs on seven hits in five innings.Ryu’s worst ERA in a KBO season was 3.57 from the 2009 season. He had a career ERA of 2.80 in South Korea prior to this year.The Eagles have cooled off considerably after a blazing start to the season. They won seven of their first eight games but then had gone 5-17 before 슬롯사이트 winning Tuesday’s game

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