‘Jeong Hoon’s 1,000th hit’ Lotte wins again…first winning streak under Lee Jong-woon

No quitting. Hopes for a top-five finish continue. It was a big win for Lotte, who pounded out 13 hits.

The Lotte Giants won 10-3 against the Samsung Lions in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Munsu Stadium in Ulsan on Friday.

Lotte improved to 3-1 with their first back-to-back wins under acting manager Lee Jong-woon. They moved to within three games of sixth-place Doosan, which did not play due to a rainout. Samsung remains in eighth place with 49 wins, 65 losses and one draw. The gap to seventh-place Lotte increased to five games.

Lotte’s starting lineup was Yoon Dong-hee (right fielder), Jeong-hoon (first baseman), Ahn Chi-hong (second baseman), Jeon Jun-woo (designated hitter), Nico Goodrum (third baseman), Yoo Kang-nam (catcher), Kim Min-seok (center fielder), Noh Jin-hyuk (shortstop), Hwang Sung-bin (left fielder), and starting pitcher Aaron Wilkerson.

Samsung’s starting lineup was Kim Hyun-joon (center field), Kim Sung-yoon (right field), Koo Ja-uk (designated hitter), Jose Pirela (left field), Oh Jae-il (first base), Ryu Ji-hyuk (third base), Lee Jae-hyun (shortstop), Kim Ji-chan (second base), Lee Byung-heon (catcher), and Choi Chae-heung (starting pitcher).

Lotte got off to a hot start in the top of the first inning, as leadoff hitter Yoon Dong-hee singled up the middle and Jung Hoon followed with a single to center field. Ahn Chi-hong then singled to load the bases with no outs, but Jeon Jun-woo grounded out to third and Yoon Dong-hee was thrown out at the plate, allowing Gudrum to hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score the first run.

Then, Yoo Kang-nam took a 141-kilometer fastball from Choi Chae-heung and blasted a three-run homer to the left-center field wall to extend Lotte’s lead to 4-0. It was Yoo’s seventh home run of the season. Lotte had runners on second and third after Kim Min-seok singled to right-center and Noh Jin-hyuk walked, but Hwang Sung-bin grounded out to the first baseman.

Samsung fought back. In the top of the second inning, Pirela struck out and Oh Jae-il flied out to left field, but Ryu Ji-hyuk’s grounder was not caught by Hwang Sung-bin in left field, leading to a double, giving Samsung a narrowly missed opportunity. Lee Jae-hyun then singled up the middle, scoring Ryu Ji-hyeok from second base to give Samsung a one-run lead.

Lotte had runners on second and third in the bottom of the inning after Ahn Chi-hong singled and Jeon Jun-woo singled, but Goodrum was unable to capitalize as the second baseman flied out to end the inning.

Samsung had a leadoff single by Lee Byung-heon in the top 스포츠토토 of the third but came up empty, and Lotte had a runner on second and third in the bottom of the third when Yoo Kang-nam led off with a double to right, but Hwang Sung-bin was thrown out at second base.

After Samsung went down in order in the top of the fourth inning, Lotte responded with a run in the bottom of the inning to regain the four-run lead. After leadoff hitter Yoon Dong-hee doubled to left field and Ahn Chi-hong drew a walk, Jeon Jun-woo followed with a single to left field that scored Yoon and gave Lotte a 5-1 lead. No further runs were scored. That’s because Goodrum’s hit turned into a pitcher-to-second-to-first double play.

Samsung came back in the top of the fifth inning. After leadoff hitter Lee Jae-hyun walked and Kim Ji-chan singled to left, Samsung had runners on first and second with no outs when Lee Byung-heon’s replacement, Kim Dong-jin, struck out and Kim Hyun-joon grounded out to second. With both runners in scoring position, Kim stole second, and then Kim Sung-yoon hit a three-run triple to the right-center field fence to bring in two runs.

Lotte did not stand still. The LOTTE offense started in the bottom of the fifth inning when Yoo Kang-nam led off with a walk. Kim Min-seok’s grounder to first base forced out Yoo at second, but Kim was safe at first. After Kim Min-seok stole second to open the scoring, Noh Jin-hyuk walked to load the bases, and Lee Jung-hoon, who pinch-hit for Hwang Sung-bin, flied out to right field, but Yoon Dong-hee singled to left field to bring in a run.

Jung-hoon followed with an RBI single up the middle to give LOTTE a 7-3 lead. LOTTE’s offense came to an end when Yoon Dong-hee, who had stolen second and was heading to third, was tagged out at the plate. With this, Jung-hoon reached 1,000 career hits. He is the 116th player in KBO history to do so.

Samsung had runners on first and second with no outs in the top of the sixth inning when Pirela singled and Oh Jae-il reached on an infield single, but both Lee Jae-hyun and Kim Ji-chan struck out swinging after Ryu Ji-hyuk was retired on a flyout to shortstop. Lotte also went scoreless in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Samsung attacked in the top of the seventh inning as Kim Do-hwan singled to left and Kim Hyun-joon singled to right to put runners on first and second with no outs, but again, the inning ended scoreless. In the bottom of the seventh, however, Lotte loaded the bases with walks to Noh Jin-hyuk and Ko Seung-min, scored two runs when Jeong Hoon hit a two-run double off the left field fence, and plated a run when Ahn Chi-hong singled to left-center field.

Lotte used Shin Jeong-rak, Kim Jin-wook, Kim Sang-soo and Jin Seung-hyun to keep Samsung’s offense at bay after starter Wilkerson pitched six innings of two-run ball with six strikeouts and three walks.

For Samsung, starting pitcher Choi Chae-heung fell apart after giving up five runs on nine hits and three walks in four innings. He was followed by Hong Jung-woo, Woo Kyu-min, Lee Seung-hyun, and Jang Pil-joon.

In the Lotte lineup, Jung Hoon went 5-for-5 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored, Yoo Kang-nam went 3-for-2 with a home run, three RBIs and one run scored, and Yoon Dong-hee went 4-for-3 with a home run, one RBI and one run scored 스포츠토토.

Meanwhile, 5,999 fans attended the game at Munsugu Stadium. The two teams will face off at the same venue on June 6-7.

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