LG sweeps doubleheader with SSG, moves closer to Korean Series title

The top-ranked LG Twins swept a doubleheader from the SSG Landers to move one step closer to the top of the regular season and a direct ticket to the Korean Series.

LG defeated SSG 8-3 in game one of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League doubleheader at Jamsil Stadium on Sunday. They followed that up with a 9-5 victory in game two to complete a two-game sweep in one day.

Including the two games of the doubleheader, LG’s four-game winning streak pushed their record to 74 wins, 47 losses, and two ties for a .612 winning percentage and a firm grip on the league lead. SSG, on the other hand, has lost five straight games and is 62-59, with a .512 winning percentage.

SSG slipped to sixth place behind the Doosan Bears (63 wins, 57 losses, 1 draw, 0.525 winning percentage) and the KIA Tigers (60 wins, 56 losses, 2 draws, 0.517 winning percentage), who played each other on the day. This is the first time SSG, last season’s overall winner, has finished outside the top five this season.The weather also helped LG in Game 1. LG was unable to capitalize on SSG’s homegrown ace Kim Kwang-hyun and fell behind 2-3 through five innings.

However, in the bottom of the sixth inning, while LG was attacking with the bases loaded, a strong rain came down. The game was suspended for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. SSG was forced to replace their starter Kim Kwang-hyun, who was pitching well.

When the game resumed, LG focused on their new pitcher, Noh Kyung-eun. After Shin Min-jae stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error, Kim Hyun-soo hit a two-run double to tie the game at 3-3. Two batters later, Moon Bo-kyung and Park Dong-won hit back-to-back RBI singles to make it 5-3.

With runners on second and third in the top of the eighth, LG brought in closer Go Woo-seok early. Go struck out Kim Kang-min and Choo Shin-soo with nine hard pitches and a fly ball to center field to get out of the jam. LG added three runs in the bottom of the eighth to put the game out of reach.

LG second baseman Yoo Young-chan picked up his sixth win of the season (2-2), while Go Woo-seok, who pitched a perfect 1⅔ innings, earned his 14th save (3-7). On the other hand, SSG’s second pitcher, Noh Kyung-eun, took the loss after giving up two runs on three hits in one inning.

LG won game two 9-5 in a wild game that featured 27 hits.

SSG took a quick lead in the top of the first inning as Choi Ju-hwan, Choi Jeong and Han Yoo-seom drew three consecutive walks off LG starter Lim Chan-kyu. However, after Park Sung-hwan added a single to right to load the bases, Ha Jae-hoon and Kim Sung-hyun were retired on consecutive strikeouts.

SSG added a run in the top of the third on a Ha Jae-hoon single with the bases loaded, but back-to-back infield grounders by Kim Sung-hyun and Ahn Sang-hyun prevented them from capitalizing.

After minimizing the damage, LG turned the game around in the bottom of the third inning with a trio of two-out hits. With one out, Kim Hyun-soo and Austin Dean hit back-to-back doubles to right-center field to tie the game at 2-2. Then, in the second inning, Moon Bo-kyung hit a back-to-back double to bring home Austin from second base.

In the bottom of the fourth, LG’s big inning unfolded. With one out, Heo Do-hwan took a fastball from SSG starter Kirk McCarty for a solo home run to left field. His second home run of the season.

LG added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Hong Chang-ki singled and SSG second baseman Ahn Sang-hyun made a throwing error. With Hong Chang-ki on second base, Shin Min-jae singled to left and Kim Hyun-soo followed with a sacrifice fly. Austin added an RBI triple to the right-center field fence.

A walk to Oh put runners on first and third, and Moon Bo-kyung’s infield single was followed by a throwing error by SSG shortstop Park Sung-hwan. Meanwhile, third baseman Austin came home.

In the bottom of the fifth, LG scored two more runs on RBI singles by Hong Chang-ki and Kim Hyun-soo to put the game out of reach. SSG scored one run in 스포츠토토 the top of the sixth, seventh, and ninth innings, but it wasn’t enough to turn the game around. Three errors cost SSG the game.

LG starter Lim Chan-kyu pitched five innings, allowing two runs (two earned) on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts to improve to 11-3 on the season. SSG starter McCarty, on the other hand, did not live up to expectations, allowing seven runs on nine hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 3⅔ innings.