‘4-homer explosion’ KT bombs Hanwha mound…17-0 rout, solidifies 2nd place ‘Kim’s first win in 1168 days’

KT blasts Hanwha mound to solidify second place.

KT opened its 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home series against Hanwha with a 17-0 rout at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on Sunday. Starter Kim Min-soo pitched 5⅔ scoreless innings for his first win in three years, while the offense exploded for a season-high 17 runs on 17 hits, including four home runs from Park Byung-ho, Hwang Jae-gyun, Kim Sang-soo and Moon Sang-chul.

With 77 wins, 62 losses and three ties, KT has all but locked up second place. Hanwha, which lost its third straight game, dropped to 56 wins, 76 losses and six ties for ninth place.

KT starter Kim Min-soo earned his first win of the season with 5⅔ innings of four-hit ball, three walks, one hit batter and six strikeouts. He overpowered the Hanwha bats with a 148-kilometer fastball and a sharp slider, earning his first win in 1168 days since July 26, 2020, against Suwon NC, before joining the majors. In terms of starts, it was 1232 days since May 23, 2020, against Jamsil LG Electronics (1 run in 5⅔ innings).

Kim, who joined KT with the first overall pick in 2018, showed promise in 2019, going 6-12 with a 4.96 ERA in 27 games (150⅔ innings). However, his progress stalled the following year due to poor command of his pitches, and even after returning from the disabled list late last year, he struggled to find his groove. This year, he also struggled with a 2-2 record and an 8.49 ERA in 15 games (23⅓ innings) without a win, but he made his presence known with a strong performance on this day.

After getting out of a jam in the top of the first by striking out Chae Eun-sung and getting Nick Williams to ground out to first base, Kim showed off his crisis management skills in the top of the second by striking out Lee Jin-young and getting Lee Myung-gi to ground out to first base. In the third inning, Kim gave up a leadoff single to Moon Hyun-bin, but he made a good catch at first base for the first out of the inning.

In the fifth, he gave up a walk but struck out two to earn the win with five scoreless innings. He was one out shy of a quality start in the sixth when he put runners on first and second with one out, but he retired the side on a career-high 91 pitches this season.

The KT bats also helped Kim in the first inning. After Kim Sang-soo singled to left-center off Hanwha starter Felix Peña, Park Byung-ho took Peña’s second pitch over the left-field fence for a two-run home run. The distance was 120 meters, his 18th home run of the season.

In the second inning, KT tacked on another run after Choi Sung-ho doubled to right and came home on Kang Hyun-woo’s single to left. In the third, Hwang Jae-gyun hit Peña’s five-pitch changeup for a solo shot to left field. It traveled 105 meters, his fifth home run of the season.안전놀이터

In the fourth, after a walk and a single by Lee Ho-yeon chased Peña, Kim Sang-soo hit a two-run double over the left-field fence off reliever Han Seung-ju. Hwang Jae-gyun and Park Byung-ho followed with RBI singles to left to extend KT’s lead to 8-0. They then broke through the double-digit mark with a six-run big inning in the sixth, including Kim Sang-soo’s third two-run homer of the season off Park Yoon-cheol.

In the eighth, Moon Sang-cheol hit a three-run arch to left off Ryu Hee-woon. It was his ninth home run of the season, the most in a single season. Kim Sang-soo was 3-for-4, Moon Sang-chul was 2-for-4, Park Byung-ho was 2-for-3, and Hwang Jae-gyun was 2-for-2.

Hanwha starter Peña suffered his 11th loss of the season, allowing six runs on seven hits (two home runs) in 3 1/3 innings with one walk and two strikeouts. He raised his season ERA to 3.67 from 3.42. Moon Hyun-bin paced the offense with a two-hit multi-hit performance, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the loss.


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