Led by two home runs from Oh Tae-gon and Choi Jeong’s 29th home run of the season, baseball’s SSG Landers earned a come-from-behind victory over the NC Dinos and continued their bid to start the postseason a day late.
SSG showed off its firepower, scoring six runs in the eighth inning to come from behind and beat NC 10-8 in the visiting team’s 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League game at Changwon NC Park on Monday.
SSG pushed NC from third place to fifth and settled into fourth place.
With a winning percentage of 0.529, SSG is in fourth place, one game behind the third-place Doosan Bears (0.530) with no wins.
SSG’s offense was led by first baseman Oh Tae-gon.
After leading off the game with a single and scoring on Han Yoo-seom’s RBI single, Oh hit his fifth home run of the season in the top of the fifth inning for a 2-1 lead.
NC turned the game around with Park Se-hyuk.
In the bottom of the fifth, Park knotted the game at one with a solo home run, then followed it up with a three-run shot in the sixth for a 5-3 lead.
It was Park’s second home run in as many at-bats.
NC responded with a six-run eighth inning.
With runners on first and second, Ha Jae-hoon’s two-run double, Choi Hang’s walk and Kim Kang-min’s RBI single all came through.
Oh then hit the game-winning three-run arch that turned the game from 6-8 to 9-6.
SSG added a run-scoring home run in the top of the ninth to seal the win.
With his 29th home run of the season, Choi moved within two of the league’s home run leader Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha Eagles-31).
SSG closer Seo Jin-yong pitched the ninth inning to preserve the victory, becoming the ninth player in KBO history and the first to collect 40 saves.
In Suwon, KT, led by William Cuevas’ 12th win of the season, swept the Hanwha Eagles for the second straight day, 9-2.
KT, which had won the previous day by a record 17-0 score, used a 26-run outburst over the two days to win its second straight game and consolidate its hold on second place.
Cuevas shut down the Hanwha bats with seven innings of two-hit ball, two walks and eight strikeouts to record his 12th win of the season, 14th overall and 10th straight against Hanwha.
Cuevas, who pitched his first game of the season on June 17, finished the 2023 season with a record of 12-0 with a 2.60 ERA in 18 games and 114⅓ innings pitched.
After earning the win in his final start of the season, Cuevas finished the regular season with a 12-0 record and a 100 percent winning percentage.
He is only the third player since Oh Bong-ok (13 wins) in 1992 and Kim Hyun-wook (10 wins for the Samsung Lions in 2002) to win the title, which requires 10 regular-season wins, undefeated.
KT’s No. 4 hitter Park Byung-ho led off the game with a sacrifice fly in the first inning and made it 2-0 with an RBI single in the third.
In the top of the fourth inning, he scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0, and KT scored three more runs in the inning to make it 6-0.
KT tacked on two runs in the sixth on an RBI single by Jang Jang-woo and a sacrifice fly by Choi Jae-dae, and in the seventh, pinch-hitter Ahn Chi-young hit an RBI single.
Park Byung-ho went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and three RBIs.
In a game played at Jamsil Stadium, the Doosan Bears snapped a two-game losing streak with a thrilling 2-1, one-run victory over the Lotte Giants.
Doosan moved back into third place thanks to NC’s loss to SSG.
Doosan had the first laugh in a matchup of foreign pitchers, with Brandon Waddell for Doosan and Charlie Barnes for Lotte.
Doosan opened the scoring in the top of the fourth inning with the score tied at 0-0 when Yang Seok-hwan led off with a double to right-center and Yang Ji singled to left field.
Kim Jae-hwan followed with a single to center, advancing Yang to third and scoring on Kang Seung-ho’s sacrifice fly.
After being held in check by Brandon, Lotte pulled within one run in the eighth on a double by pinch-hitter Lee Jung-hoon and an RBI single by Ahn Kwon-soo.
In the ninth, back-to-back singles by Yoo Kang-nam and Han Dong-hee loaded the bases with two outs, but pinch-hitter Kim Min-seok struck out.
Doosan starter Brandon picked up his 11th win of the season with a flawless six innings of one-hit ball, one walk and eight strikeouts.
In Gwangju, the KIA Tigers kept their postseason hopes alive with a 2-1 win over Samsung.
Riding a two-game winning streak, sixth-place KIA moved to within three games of fifth-place NC.
With KIA starting rookie Yoon Young-chul and Samsung starting foreign pitcher Taylor Widener, KIA struck first.
With one out in the fourth inning, Socrates Brito drew a walk, stole second base and moved to third on Lee Woo-sung’s infield single.
He came home on Han Jun-soo’s single.
After being held scoreless by Yoon Young-chul through five innings, Samsung tied the game in the sixth when Ryu Ji-hyuk doubled and Kang Min-ho singled.
In the end, the bullpen proved to be the difference.
KIA got on the board in the eighth inning when leadoff hitter Kim Sun-bin drew a walk to reliever Kim Tae-hoon.
A double by Lee Woo-sung and an intentional walk by Lee Chang-jin loaded the bases, and pinch-hitter Kim Tae-gun scored the final run with a sacrifice fly.
In the ninth inning, Jung Hae-young gave up one hit and one walk, but she got Kim Dong-yeop to foul out with runners on second and third to preserve the win.
With his 20th save of the season, Jung became the 15th pitcher in KBO history to record 20 saves in three consecutive years. 안전놀이터