LG rode a seven-inning no-hitter from starter Chan-kyu Lim and a three-run triple from Austin Solopo and Sung-joo Moon to a 7-1 victory over the KIA Tigers at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field on Monday. LG returned to Seoul with a 2-1 win in the weekend series. It was their seventh consecutive sweep.
On the 26th, LG won 5-3, and on the 27th, KIA won 6-3 to take the series 1-1. The teams faced off for the championship.
KIA sent Lee Chang-jin, who had hit a game-winning double the day before, to the sixth spot in right field, and Han Seung-taek to the ninth spot. LG made a minor lineup change, dropping Oh Ji-hwan, who has been struggling of late, to the sixth spot and moving Moon Bo-kyung, who has been hitting sixth, to the third spot.
The starting pitcher will be Kia’s Shawn Anderson against LG’s Chan-gyu Lim. Anderson was 3-2 with a 2.58 ERA in April, but has struggled in May with a 7.43 ERA in three starts. Im Chan-kyu started the season as a long reliever and has now fully established himself as a domestic ace. In his first six starts of the season, he was 4-0 with a 1.47 ERA.
On this day, KIA made four errors and LG made three, showing a lack of focus on defense, but the 7-0 result was the difference between an ace who could or could not stop the mistakes.
In the first inning, LG took the lead. After Hong Chang-ki singled and Moon Sung-joo grounded out to the third baseman, Kia third baseman Byun Woo-hyuk made a poor catch and dropped it, putting runners on first and second with no outs, and Moon Bo-kyung drew a walk on a full count of 11 pitches to load the bases. No. 4 Austin Dean grounded out to short with one out. No. 5 Kim Hyun-soo hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Hong Chang-ki from third base to make it 1-0. No. 6 Oh Ji-hwan drew a full-count walk to load the bases, but No. 7 Park Dong-won flied out to left field to end the inning. KIA starter Anderson has the unusual distinction of not facing a hit with the bases loaded this season, and it worked in the first inning.
In the bottom of the first, KIA also had a chance as Park Chan-ho led off with a single to center field. However, Ko Jong-wook hit a line drive to the second baseman to 스포츠토토 throw out Socrates. Socrates quickly got out of the inning, and a pitch that looked like it was going to go over the second baseman’s head dropped quickly and into the glove of LG second baseman Shin Min-jae. Socrates had already reached second base, so it was too late to make the catch. With two outs, Socrates hit a well-timed shot that flew directly into the right-field corner to end the first inning.
Without a hit, LG scored another run on a walk and two errors. Park Hae-min led off with a walk and then tried to steal second base when Shin Min-jae batted ninth. Catcher Han Seung-taek induced a high ball to block Shin’s bunt, but as it flew higher, Han Seung-taek jumped to catch it, but the ball hit the mitt and bounced back. Meanwhile, Park Hae-min made it to third base. Then, with Shin Min-jae poised to bunt again and Park Hae-min well out in front of home plate, Han Seung-taek threw a hard throw to third, which was also hit to the left fielder and Park Hae-min came home. 2-0.
In the top of the third, Austin hit a thunderous solo shot to make it 3-0. A batter later, Anderson hit a 146-kilometer fastball straight down the middle and it went over the left field fence.
In the top of the fourth inning, LG had another opportunity. After Park Hae-min singled and Shin Min-jae laid down a sacrifice bunt, a throwing error by the pitcher put runners on first and second, and Hong Chang-ki walked to load the bases. KIA manager Kim Jong-kook’s patience was over. He dropped Anderson and brought up Kim Dae-yoo. Facing Moon Sung-joo, Kim Dae-yoo was not yet warmed up and threw three pitches in a row to force a walk. He fired a fastball up the middle for a strike, and then threw another fastball up the middle that Moon crushed over the right field fence. All three runners reached base and Moon advanced to third. It was now 6-0. Moon Bo-kyung followed with a clean hit to right field that left the Kia infield in disarray. It was 7-0. The game was effectively over.
KIA had runners on first and second in the bottom of the ninth after Lee Woo-sung’s solo shot and back-to-back singles by Kim Sun-bin and Lee Chang-jin, but there was no more.
LG starter Lim Chan-kyu pitched another strong game and became LG’s most reliable pitcher. He needed 87 pitches to get through the seventh inning. He said he doesn’t worry about his velocity, but his fastball reached 147 kilometers. He pitched seven innings, gave up four hits, walked four and struck out five to earn his fifth win of the season. Riding a five-game winning streak and four-game road winning streak, Lim snapped a two-game losing streak against KIA and earned his first start against KIA in more than two years and nine months since August 12, 2020, against Jamsil.
KIA struggled against Anderson, who gave up six runs (three earned) on four hits, three walks and two strikeouts in three innings. This was compounded by four errors that led to unearned runs. The only consolation came in the bottom of the ninth inning when pinch-hitter Lee Woo-sung hit a solo shot to center field against reliever Kim Dae-hyun. Despite the foreign pitcher’s poor performance and a slew of errors, the crowd at the ballpark sang along to the end.