The race for the second spot with a direct ticket to the KBO playoffs is fierce between the second-place KT Wiz, third-place NC Dinos, fourth-place SSG Landers, and fifth-place KIA Tigers.
KT (67 wins, 3 draws, 53 losses, 0.558) secured second place by 1.5 games over NC (64 wins, 2 draws, 53 losses, 0.547), which had been on a scary upswing.스포츠토토
KIA (60 wins, 2 ties, 54 losses, 0.526), which had jumped to second place with a nine-game winning streak in 10 months and a three-game sweep over the leaders LG Twins in a four-game weekend series, dropped one spot to fifth with a sixth-inning rainout loss to the Lotte Giants at home. They are 0.5 games behind fourth-place SSG (62 wins, 2 draws, 55 losses, 0.530).
KT rallied for a 6-2 victory over the visiting NC Dinos of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Changwon NC Park on Wednesday behind a quality start from starter Ko Young-pyo and a wedge home run from Park Byung-ho.
Riding a two-game winning streak, second-place KT closed the gap to 4.5 games on first-place LG Twins, who did not play that day.
Ace Ko Young-pyo, who had been knocked around for six runs in five innings and six runs in six innings in his previous two outings in September, made a long-awaited return to form.
He threw 111 pitches over six innings, allowing nine hits and one walk while striking out seven and walking two to earn his 11th win of the season.
He also reached the 100-strikeout plateau for the season, becoming the 19th player in KBO history to record triple-digit strikeouts in five consecutive seasons.
KT took an early lead in the first inning when Ko Young-pyo hit back-to-back doubles to NC’s No. 1 hitter Son As-seob and No. 2 hitter Park Min-woo.
KT battled back in the third inning, and after Shin Bon-ki drew a leadoff walk, Kim Sang-soo laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the tying run to second, and Kim Min-hyuk tied the game with a double to left-center.
Anthony Alford followed with an RBI double to left field to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Alford’s bat came alive once again in the fourth inning as NC tied the game again with an RBI single by Kim Hyung-jun.
With the score tied at 2-2 in the top of the seventh inning, Alford came to bat and hit the game-winning single off NC’s second pitcher, Song Myung-ki.
KT made it 5-2 in the eighth with a pair of RBI singles from pinch-hitters Choi Sung-ho and Kim Sang-soo.
With the 5-2 lead, KT’s Park Young-hyun, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning with two strikeouts, became the youngest player in history to reach the 30-hit plateau at 19 years, 11 months, and two days.
In the ninth inning, Byung-ho Park hit a one-run home run to make it 6-2.
It was Park’s 14th home run of the season and his second straight game with a home run.
NC, which could have moved into second place with a win over KT on the day, failed to capitalize on the opposing mound and fell to its knees, ending its three-game winning streak.
■ Lotte’s Shim Jae-min wins first start in 316 games since turning pro in 2015
In Gwangju, the Lotte Giants kept their faint hopes of reaching the postseason alive with a sixth-inning rain-shortened victory over the KIA Tigers.
Starter Shim Jae-min pitched five innings of three-hit ball, striking out two and walking one, and Lotte held on for a three-run third inning to beat KIA 3-1 and snap a three-game losing streak.
The gap between seventh-place Lotte and fifth-place KIA, one spot below, is seven games.
The game, which started at 7:10 p.m., 40 minutes late due to rain, was accompanied by rain throughout.
It was Lotte who broke the balance between the two teams, who continued the pitching battle in the early innings despite the bad weather.
Lotte loaded the bases in the third inning with a walk to Han Dong-hee, a single to left by Lee Hak-joo, and an infield single by Hwang Sung-bin.
After catching a quick infield grounder hit by Yoon Dong-hee, KIA third baseman Choi Jeong-yong first stepped on third base to get one out and then spilled the ball while trying to throw home.
Although the out was recorded, it was a critical error that set the tone for Lotte.
KIA starter Yang Hyun-jong struck out Jeong Hoon to end the ensuing rally with runners on first and second, but gave up a two-run double to Ahn Chi-hong.
Hindered by the aggressive pitching of Shim Jae-min, KIA could only manage a single run in the fifth inning on Lee Woo-sung’s RBI single with two outs.
Before the KIA offense could get going in the bottom of the sixth, the rain grew heavier, and after waiting 46 minutes from 9:10 p.m. to 9:56 p.m., Lotte ended the game early.
It was the third rain-cold game this season.
For Shim, it was his first win in 316 games since turning pro in 2015.
Shim, who went five innings on his own, earned his fourth complete game in the league this season.
With the loss, Kia, which had Yang Hyun-jong on the mound, slipped to fifth place, half a game behind SSG Landers, who did not play that day.
SSG’s game against the Doosan Bears at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul was canceled due to rain.
The canceled games will be rescheduled at a later date.