It was a humiliation for a pitcher with 162 career wins. Kia left-handed ace Yang Hyun-jong, 35, started the KBO’s Sajik away game against Lotte on Feb. 2 and gave up nine runs in two innings. It was the most runs he has allowed in his 464-game career since debuting in 2007. He threw 47 pitches and gave up nine hits (one home run) and two walks, while striking out one. Yang took the loss (3-2) as the team was outscored 2-14. His ERA worsened from 2.29 to 3.74.
Yang’s previous worst outings were eight eight-run games (including five eight-run games), and this was the first time he allowed nine runs (nine earned runs). In his previous outing, Yang earned his 162nd career win against the Gwangju LG on March 27, moving him into sole possession of second place on the all-time wins list, ahead of MBC Sports Plus commentator Jung Min-cheol (161). However, in his first appearance in six days, he performed unexpectedly poorly.
Yang gave up seven runs in the top of the first inning. After giving up two runs on four straight hits, a bunt, a walk and a hit batter gave up another run to make it 0-3. In the next at-bat, he threw a 118-kilometer-per-hour curveball to the No. 8 batter, Lee Hak-joo (33), for a home run over the right field wall. The score quickly went to 7-0. Yang Hyun-jong gave up two more runs in the second inning after facing three hits, including two doubles. Lotte finished with 19 hits (8 walks), their most this season.
SSG moved from second to first place (31-17-1) with a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Kiwoom at home in Incheon. Trailing 1-2 in the bottom of the ninth, a walk and a throwing error by the left fielder put runners on first and second with no outs, then a double steal put runners on second and third. Han Yoo-seom (34) came through with an intentional walk to load the bases. SSG then tied the game at 2-2 on a sacrifice fly by Park Sung-hyun (25) and won the game on a bases-loaded walk to Kim Sung-hyun (36). SSG has now won all seven games against Kiwoom this year.
In Jamsil, fifth-ranked NC defeated host LG 9-2. The team remained focused even after starter Koo Chang-mo (26) withdrew due to arm pain after throwing 스포츠토토 only five pitches. Choi Sung-young (26), who came in at short notice, pitched six innings of two-run ball. Catcher Ahn Jung-yeol (28) went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and three RBIs, while Son Ah-seop (35) also had two hits in five at-bats, including a solo shot. LG dropped from first to second place.
In Suwon, fourth-ranked Doosan defeated host KT 10-1. Leading 1-0 in the seventh, Doosan combined two doubles and a hit batter to score two runs and added three more runs on a two-run homer by No. 3 hitter Yang Yang-ji (36) and a solo shot by No. 4 Yang Suk-hwan (32). In the eighth, Lee Yoo-chan (35) hit a three-run homer. Doosan starter Raul Alcantara (31) pitched seven scoreless innings (one hit, one walk, seven strikeouts) to earn the win (6-3). Last-place KT lost its fourth straight.
Samsung won a hard-fought 8-7 victory over Hanwha in Daejeon. Samsung’s Oh Seung-hwan, 41, pitched the bottom of the eighth and allowed one run in one and one-third innings to earn the save. It was his seventh save of the season, his 377th career save, and his 499th career save with Hanwha.