Hotly contested…1st place LG to 2nd place SSG by 1 game, 2nd to 3rd place Lotte by 1 game

1st place LG Twins (27 wins, 1 tie, 14 losses, 0.659 winning percentage), 2nd place SSG Landers (26 wins, 1 tie, 15 losses, 0.634), 3rd place Lotte Giants (23 wins, 14 losses, 0.622).

The first through third-place teams in the KBO are separated by one game.

The Doosan Bears moved into sole possession of fourth place after earning their first win over manager Lee Seung-yup’s former club, Samsung.

LG swept SSG to take sole possession of first place.

LG pounded out 12 hits, including a grand slam home run by Kim Min-sung, in a 9-1 victory over visiting SSG in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on Wednesday.

With the win, LG extended its winning streak to five games and took over sole possession of first place from SSG, who were tied for first place the day before.

LG also improved to 3-1 against SSG this season.

SSG struck first. SSG took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Choi Ju-hwan hit a solo home run off LG starter Im Chan-kyu, a straight shot over the right field fence.

In the top of the fourth inning, LG took advantage of SSG starter Oh Won-seok’s four walks to create a “big inning” with a grand slam home run by Kim Min-sung.

After the leadoff hitter Kim Hyun-soo singled, Moon Bo-kyung singled to left-center, Park Dong-won singled to load the bases, and Lee Jae-won drew a walk to make it 1-1.

Kim Min-seong came to the plate next and lifted a changeup from Oh Won-seok for a grand slam over the left field fence to make it 5-1.

After scoring a run in the fifth on Oh’s RBI single, LG added two more runs in the top of the seventh on an error to complete the sweep.

LG starter Lim Chan-kyu pitched through the sixth inning, allowing one run on three hits with three strikeouts to earn his fourth win of the season.

Lotte scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by Han Dong-hee and an RBI single by Noh Jin-hyuk.

The Lotte Giants defeated the NC Dinos 2-0 at Busan’s Sajik Stadium in the ‘Nakdong River Rivalry Game’.

Lotte, which won all three games of its three-game series against Changwon on March 21-23, continued its exciting four-game winning streak against NC.

The key to the victory was starter Na Kyun-an.

The “Dancing Forkball” shut down the NC bats for six innings, allowing five hits, one walk and striking out five.

Lotte got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning when Jeon Jun-woo singled up the middle and Ahn Chi-hong doubled to left to put runners on second and third.

With the bases loaded, Han Dong-hee led off the inning with a sacrifice fly to left field and Noh Jin-hyuk followed with a single to right to make it 2-0.

NC had runners on second and third in the top of the fifth after a double by Yoon Hyung-joon, a single by Seo Ho-chul and a wild pitch by Na Kyun-an.

However, Kim Joo-won’s grounder to the third baseman was caught in a rundown, and Do Tae-hoon and Son As-seop struck out in succession to Na Gyun-an to end the chance.

After Na Gyun-an, Lotte sent Kim Sang-soo (7th), Koo Seung-min (8th), and Kim Won-joong (9th) to the mound to preserve the no-hitter.

■ ‘Six-run first inning’ sees Hanwha hold off KIA to snap three-game losing streak

In Daejeon, the Hanwha Eagles defeated the KIA Tigers 9-5 to end their recent three-game losing streak.

Hanwha scored six runs in the first inning to take an early lead.

In the top of the first inning, leadoff hitter Jung Eun-won drew a walk against KIA starter Shawn Anderson, and Lee Jin-young doubled to center and Chae Eun-sung singled up the middle to give Hanwha a 2-0 lead.

After Jang Jin-hyuk drew a walk to load the bases, Hanwha added a run two batters later when KIA shortstop Park Chan-ho made a bad throw to first base on Lee Do-yoon’s infield single, and one batter later, Jung Eun-won singled to right to make it 6-0.

In the bottom of the fourth, Kim In-hwan singled to center field to plate Chae Eun-sung, who had doubled, and Hanwha scored two more runs in the fifth on back-to-back doubles by Moon Hyun-bin and Lee Do-yoon to take a 9-0 lead.

KIA scored three runs in the top of the seventh on five hits, including a triple by Socrates Brito and a double by Shin Beom-soo, and two runs in the ninth on a solo home run by Ko Jong-wook, but could not overcome the early deficit.

Hanwha starter Ricardo Sanchez pitched five innings of three-hit ball to earn his first win in three KBO games.

■ Six innings of no-hit ball for Chung’s first win of the season…Kiwoom wins second straight over KT

In Suwon, the Kiwoom Heroes capitalized on a strong start from starter Jung Chan-heon to defeat the last-place KT WIZ 3-1.

The scoreless tie was broken in the seventh inning as Jung and KT’s foreign pitcher Bo Schulcer battled it out.

Kiwoom took the lead in the top of the seventh when Kim Tae-jin led off with a single to left, followed by a sacrifice bunt and a single to right by Lim Byung-wook.

After Lee Ji-young singled up the middle to score a run, Song Sung-moon singled to right and Lee Jung-hoo followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.

KT, which was held to three hits through the seventh inning, got one run back in the bottom of the eighth on back-to-back singles by Kim Min-hyuk and Lee Ho-yeon to put runners on first and third on an infield grounder by Kang Baek-ho.

Kiwoom starter Jung Chan-heon pitched a three-hit shutout with three strikeouts through the sixth inning to record his first win after three losses this season 안전놀이터.

KT Schuler did his part with six hits and two runs in six and a third innings, but got no help from his offense and lost his fifth straight.

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