Yoon Young-cheol wins 7th, KIA returns to ‘5-for-5’ after beating Hanwha

The KIA Tigers are back to their winning percentage of five.

The Tigers rode a seven-game winning streak from starter Yoon Young-cheol and a combined 15 hits to a 9-3 victory over the Hanwha Eagles in the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field on Thursday. With their second straight win, they returned to a winning percentage of 5 percent for the first time in two months since May 31.

They pushed hard from the first inning. In the second inning, Na Sung-beom led off with a solo shot to center field. Choi Hyung-woo then reached first base on a fielding error by the opposing shortstop, and after Socrates drew a walk, Kim Sun-bin lined a single to right for a 2-0 lead.

Hanwha rallied in the fourth inning on a Williams solo shot to center field, but KIA scored a run in the bottom of the inning on a Park Chan-ho walk and a Choi Won-joon double to right-center field, and two batters later, Na Sung-beom hit an RBI single to the third baseman to make it 4-1.

Hanwha cut the deficit to one run in the bottom of the fifth when Kim Tae-yeon led off with a single to left and Noh Si-hwan followed with a monstrous two-run shot to right-center field (No. 21). However, KIA’s focus was stronger.

In the fifth inning, after a Socrates walk and a Kim Sun-bin sacrifice bunt, Lee Woo-sung singled up the middle to score a run. Han Jun-soo singled to right, Park Chan-ho walked to load the bases, and Choi Won-joon doubled to score two runs to make it 7-3.

In the eighth inning, with the bases loaded and two outs, Kim Sun-bin hit an RBI double to center field to put the game out of reach.

Kia responded with an RBI single in the bottom of the inning. No. 9 Park Chan-ho capitalized on the opportunity with three hits and two walks, while leadoff hitter Choi Won-jun went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Kim Sun-bin had three hits and two RBIs, Na Sung-beom had three hits and two RBIs, and Lee Woo-sung added three hits and one RBI.

KIA starter Yoon Young-cheol pitched effectively until the sixth inning, allowing three runs on nine hits (two home runs) and two walks. He earned his seventh win of the season, keeping his Rookie of the Year campaign alive. In the seventh inning, reliever Im Ki-young came in and pitched two scoreless innings to secure the win. Kim Ki-hoon pitched a scoreless ninth inning.

Hanwha’s lack of cohesion proved costly, with runners stranded on second and third in the first, first and second in the second, and second and second in the third.Starter Jang Min-jae took the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits (one home run) with two walks and five strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings. The bullpen was called upon early, but Lee Chung-ho (one run) and Lee Tae-yang (two runs) gave the game away. 파워볼