On the first day of August, leader LG beat Kiwoom to extend its winning streak to five games.
LG beat Kiwoom 4-2 on Aug. 1 at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul behind five and two-thirds scoreless innings from starting pitcher Im Chan-kyu and a two-run homer by Moon Bo-kyung in the bottom of the third inning. LG, which improved to 54-2-33, extended its lead atop the standings to 3.5 games over second-place SSG Landers (50-1-36), which lost to KT earlier in the day.
The key to LG’s victory was Moon Bo-kyung, who has been hitting decisive home runs in the sweltering weather.
In the bottom of the third inning, trailing 0-1, Moon, who started at third base, pulled a seven-pitch changeup from Kiwoom’s McKinney and launched a two-run shot over the right field fence. Despite being off-timing and off-center, Moon managed to hit the ball right to the center of the bat for a big hit.
Moon, who had hit just two home runs in the month of July, has been hitting home runs every day since the heat wave began in late July. On August 27, he hit a three-run homer off Cuevas against KT, and on August 28, he hit a three-run homer off ace Alcantara against Doosan. Moon also added a two-run homer in the third inning that proved to be the game-winner.
In the top of the eighth inning, with the score 4-2, Moon made a spectacular throw to the plate to catch Lee Hyung-jong at the plate.
LG starter Lim Chan-kyu improved to 7-2 with five and two-thirds innings of five-hit ball, two walks, five strikeouts and two runs. Closer Ko Woo-seok, who came on with the bases loaded in the eighth inning, pitched one and one-third scoreless innings to earn his eighth save.
After dropping both games of a three-game weekend series against LG, Doosan snapped a five-game losing streak with an 8-3 victory over Hanwha behind a strong performance from homegrown ace Kwak Bin.
Kwak-Bin was solid on the mound, allowing one run on just two hits and two walks over seven innings while striking out a whopping 10.
At the plate, the “Yang Yang duo” of Yang Suk-hwan and Yang Ji was on fire. Seok-hwan Yang broke the game open with a two-run home run in the top of the second inning after falling behind 0-1. In the eighth inning, with the score at 2-1, Yang hit a two-run home run off Kang Jae-min. Doosan scored six runs in the eighth inning, including a two-run double by Kim Jae-ho and a timely double by Jung Soo-bin, to complete the sweep.
Hanwha starter Moon Dong-joo pitched relatively well, allowing two runs on five hits in five innings, but gave up the game-winning home run to Yang Seok-hwan in the second inning and suffered his seventh loss of the season (six wins).
In Suwon, KT continued its upward trend with an 8-0 sweep of SSG. After an early slump, KT returned to its 5-for-5 winning percentage, and the bats came through with a bang as starter Ko Young-pyo pitched eight shutout innings. It is their fourth straight win.
NC won 6-3 in a tightly contested game that went into the 11th inning in Sajik, Busan. With the score tied at 3-3 in the top of the 11th inning, NC took a one-run lead on a bases-loaded single by Yoon Hyung-jun. Park Se-hyuk’s sacrifice fly and Kim Joo-won’s RBI single added two more runs to end the long game. NC, which recently ended its three-game losing streak, remained in fourth place with 44 wins, one draw and 42 losses. Lotte, on the other hand, fell into a four-game losing streak.
In Pohang, KIA extended its winning streak to four games with an 11-8 victory over last-place Samsung in a wild game that featured 29 hits. Trailing 6-7 in the top of the eighth inning, pinch-hitter Ko Jong-wook tied the game with an RBI single, and Choi Won-joon followed with a two-run double. 한국야동 Kia completed the comeback with a five-run eighth inning.