KT, Samsung, and now Hanwha….’
The Lotte Giants have lost three consecutive series to three clubs in the bottom half of the standings this season. The Giants dropped the final game of their three-game home series against the Hanwha Eagles, who remain in last place this season, in a 10-inning extra-inning loss.
Lotte dropped the eighth game of the season against the Hanwha Eagles, 4-5, on April 15 at Sajik Stadium in Busan. Lotte handed Hanwha the lead after starting pitcher Na Gyun-an was pulled early after giving up three runs, including two home runs, in four innings. The LOTTE bats overcame Na Gyun-ahn’s loss with focused hitting to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth inning and force extra innings, but they were unable to rally after giving up a run in the top of the 10th inning and lost 4-5.
Lotte starter Na Kyun-ahn got things started in the first inning, giving up a solo home run to Hanwha leadoff hitter Lee Jin-young that just cleared the left field fence. It was Na’s second solo home run of the season. Na gave up two more hits to Hanwha batters in the first inning to put runners on second and third, but he induced a grounder to Moon Hyun-bin in front of the pitcher and then threw the ball to first in desperation to get himself out of trouble.
In the third inning, Na gave up a single and a walk to Hanwha’s No. 3 hitter, Noh Si-hwan, and No. 4 hitter, Chae Eun-sung, respectively, to put runners on first and second with no outs. After catching a ball hit by Choi Jae-hoon in the fifth inning, Nae-gyun-an quickly threw to second base to turn the game into a 2-1 game. However, Na gave up a two-run home run over the right field fence to Moon Hyun-bin, who had hit his first professional home run in the previous game. It was the first time Na had allowed two home runs in a game since making the switch from catcher to pitcher in 2021.
He then gave up another walk and a hit to put runners on second and third. Luckily, Na got Jung Eun-won to ground out to the outfield to prevent further damage.
In the fourth inning, Na regained his composure and completed his first three-hit shutout of the day. Na gave up a leadoff single to Lee Jin-young. 메이저놀이터 However, he struck out Kim In-hwan and then induced a 6-4-3 double play at the plate from Noh Si-hwan to end the inning on a high note.
However, Na gave up a walk to Chae Eun-sung, the first batter of the fifth inning. Pitching coach Bae Young-soo eventually pulled Na Gyun-an from the mound. Jin Seung-hyun took the mound. He was looking for his seventh win of the season, but his pitches were shaky and he had to leave the game after four innings and three runs, eight hits, two home runs and four walks. Of the 91 pitches he threw on the day, 36 were strikes.
Jin Seung-hyun was calm. Jin Seung-hyun allowed a walk and a hit, but handled the Hanwha bats with one groundout and two strikeouts.
The Lotte bats came to life at the plate to give Na Kyun-ahn a boost. The LOTTE bats were aggressive at the plate against Hanwha starter Peña. However, the LOTTE batters hit straight at the Hanwha infield defense. The LOTTE bats were unable to find any offense through the fourth inning as they failed to produce a single hit while Peña drew six strikeouts. In the bottom of the fifth, Yoon Dong-hee led off the inning with a single off Peña, but was unable to score on Rex’s double and the next batter, Han Dong-hee’s outfield single.
Jeong Sung-jong was on the mound for Lotte in the sixth inning. She gave up a single to Jung Eun-won in the ninth, but got Lee Jin-young to pop out to the first baseman and Kim In-hwan to ground out to the outfield.
Lotte finally broke through in the sixth inning, thanks to strong pitching from Jin Seung-hyun and Jung Sung-jong. The prelude to the comeback was opened by “super rookie” Kim Min-seok. The eighth batter, Yoo Kang-nam, drew his first walk off Hanwha starter Peña. After a full-count battle with Peña, Lotte’s No. 9 hitter Kim Min-seok pulled a 142-kilometer-per-hour fastball over the right-field fence for his second home run of the season. The home run came 29 days after Kim hit his first professional home run against Hanwha on March 18. Kim had a strong showing against Hanwha, hitting two home runs.
Jung Sung-jong took the mound in the sixth and seventh innings to keep the Hanwha bats off the board and keep the team in the game. Jeong threw two scoreless innings with accurate pitches before leaving the mound.
Lotte brought in the winning run in the eighth inning. Koo Seung-min took the mound. He allowed the leadoff hitter, Lee Do-yoon, to reach base on an infield single. Koo gave up an RBI double to the ninth batter, Jung Eun-won, to left-center field. Lotte was down 2-4, two runs. Koo Seung-min walked Lee Jin-young to load the bases with two outs and was replaced by Choi Yi-jun. Choi got the first batter, Kim In-hwan, to fly out to left field, but gave up a single to Noh Si-hwan to load the bases. However, Choi struck out the fourth batter, Chae Eun-sung, on a fly ball to center field to end the threat.
LOTTE manager Larry Sutton loaded the bases in the eighth inning. With Hanwha sending left-hander Kim Bum-soo to the mound, Sutton chose right-hander Jung-hoon over left-hander Park Seung-wook. Sutton’s substitution worked. Jung-hoon singled to left-center field and stole second base. After reaching second base, Jung-hoon complained of pain in his left side and was replaced by pinch-hitter Lee Hak-joo.
The eighth batter, Yoo Kang-nam, hit a line drive that sailed over the shortstop’s head, bringing home Lee Hak-joo from second base to cut the deficit to 3-4. However, Yoo was tagged out trying to run to second base. Lotte was unable to complete the comeback as Kim Min-seok and Hwang Sung-bin retired the next two batters on consecutive outfield grounders.
Lotte sent Kim Won-joong to the mound in the ninth inning. Kim Won-joong retired the leadoff batter, Choi Jae-hoon, on a straight hit to third base and then got Lee Won-seok to ground out to shortstop. Kim then got Jang Jin-hyuk to ground out to shortstop for the final out in the bottom of the ninth.
In the bottom of the ninth, Ahn Chi-hong singled to center field. Ahn took a pitch from Hanwha reliever Park Sang-won and slid it past the second baseman for a single. The third batter, Jeon Jun-woo, followed with a grounder to send Ahn to second base. Yoon Dong-hee struck out, but Lotte had Rex at the plate. Rex took a Park Sang-won’s first pitch and smashed a single to left field. Lotte tied the game for the first time three and a half hours into the game. Ahn Chi-hong came home on a single to center field, becoming the 45th player in history to hit an 800