‘Benjamin 11K reversal – Kim Jae-yoon 150 SV’ KT holds off Ahn Woo-jin to escape 4th straight loss…Kiwoom falls into 5th straight hole

Wes Benjamin pitched a career-high 11K and Kim Jae-yoon made his 150th save as KT Wiz held off Ahn Woo-jin to snap a four-game losing streak. The Kiwoom Heroes fell into a five-game losing streak despite an ace.

KT won 4-2 against the Kiwoom Heroes in the KBO Baseball 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL on Wednesday at Gocheok Sky Dome. With the win, KT, which has 35 wins, two draws and 41 losses, snapped a four-game losing streak (winning percentage 0.461) and closed in on seventh-place Kiwoom without a win.

Kiwoom, who lost their fifth consecutive game, slipped further away from the 5% win rate as their season record dropped to 38 wins, 2 draws and 44 losses (win percentage 0.463). Even seventh place is in danger.

KT’s victory was led by outside ace Benjamin. Benjamin pitched 7.2 innings of six-hit, one-run ball with 11 strikeouts and two walks to improve to 9-3 on the season. The 11 strikeouts surpassed Benjamin’s previous career high for strikeouts in a single game (9). At the same time, his 7.2 innings pitched also broke his previous high of 7.1 innings.

Meanwhile, Kiwoom starter Ahn Woo-jin threw 120 pitches, the most in a single game in the KBO, and struck out a whopping 11 in 6.1 innings. However, he gave up four runs on five hits and one walk to take the loss. It was the latest in a string of bad luck for Ahn, who has a 2.44 ERA this season and is barely above a 5.00 win percentage with a 6-5 record.

From Ahn’s perspective, the Kiwoom bats were not far behind. KT struck first against Ahn in the top of the first inning. Kim Min-hyuk led off with a single to left and Kim Sang-soo followed with a double to put runners on second and third. The next batter, Anthony Alford, hit a sacrifice fly to score a run. The next two batters were hit by pitches to end the inning, but the narrow lead was enough for Benjamin.

In fact, Benjamin shut down the Keum bats early in the game with three consecutive strikeouts from the end of the first inning to the end of the third. In the first three innings, the Kiwoom bats were stifled by Benjamin, as nine batters combined for a whopping five strikeouts.

However, they finally tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. One out later, Kim Hye-sung hit an infield single to right field off Benjamin. Benjamin chased the slow-bounced ball all the way to first base, where he made a diving stop, but fell backwards, allowing the runner to advance to second. The play was ruled a throwing error by the pitcher after the infield hit.

After a walk by Lee Jeong-hoo, Kiwoom continued its chances, and after a video review, Lim Ji-yeol hit an RBI double to tie the game at 1-1.

The game remained scoreless as both KT and Kiwoom missed sporadic opportunities. Eventually, however, KT’s bats, which persistently harassed Ahn Woo-jin, succeeded in breaking the balance.

Park Byung-ho opened the scoring in the top of the seventh with a single to left. Jang Sung-woo followed with a nine-pitch grounder to advance the runner to second. The next batter, Hwang Jae-gyun, drew a seven-pitch walk.

Lee Ho-yeon came to the plate next and took advantage of Ahn Woo-jin’s three-pitch 153-kilometer fastball for a single that landed in front of the left-field fence. Score 2-1.

Ahn’s pitch count was already up to 120 pitches. The Kiwoom bench substituted Yang Hyun, and the KT bats took advantage of the opportunity, putting runners on second and third with Moon Sang-chul’s grounder.

The next batter, Choi Soo-ho, hit a double to bring both runners home. The flow of the offense was interrupted when Kim Min-hyuk singled and was thrown out trying to run to third base, but the score was already 4-1.

Kiwoom, on the other hand, was held to just one run against Benjamin until the bottom of the eighth inning, when Lee Hyung-jong hit a two-run double to deep left-center field. Kim Hye-sung followed with an RBI single to cut the deficit to one run.

The next batter, Lee Jung-hoo, followed with a single to put runners on first and second, and Kiwoom was able to get Benjamin out. However, KT reliever Park Young-hyun gave up a walk to Lim Ji-yeol to load the bases and then struck out Kiwoom’s pinch-hitter Kim Woong-bin to escape the biggest KT threat of the day.메이저놀이터

KT also failed to score another run in the top of the ninth inning when two walks put runners on first and second. However, as the Kiwoom bats were helplessly retired in order in the bottom of the ninth, the game ended with KT’s victory.

KT closer Kim Jae-yoon, who came on in the bottom of the ninth, pitched a scoreless inning to earn his 13th save of the season and 150th career save. It was the ninth such milestone in KBO history.

Lee recorded his 100th hit of the season against Benjamin with two outs in the eighth inning, marking his seventh consecutive season with triple-digit hits. From his rookie season in 2017 to this year, Lee has recorded triple-digit hits in every season without missing a beat.

At the same time, at the age of 24 years, 10 months, and 13 days, Lee recorded triple-digit hits for seven consecutive seasons, beating the previous record of 24 years, 11 months, and 24 days held by Lee Seung-yeop (now head coach of the Doosan Bears) by one month and three days. However, he ultimately hung his head in shame as his team failed to end the losing streak.

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