For the second straight day, the Kia Tigers pulled off a thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Samsung Lions. They secured the win and the best-of-seven series to clinch first place in the first half.

Kia won 6-4 in Game 7 of the best-of-seven series against Samsung in the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on Wednesday. It was the second straight win for the team, riding the momentum of a 9-5 victory in 10 innings in extra innings on the previous two days.

Kia’s bats came through despite a rough outing from starter Cam Aldred, who gave up four runs on three hits, one walk, one hit batsman and seven strikeouts in 4⅔ innings. In particular, the two leadoff hitters, Na Sung-beom and Socrates Brito, came through in the top of the seventh inning when the score was 4-5.

The Kia bullpen was also strong. Jang Hyun-sik pitched 2 1/3 innings of two-hit, one-strikeout relief, Choi Ji-min pitched ⅔ innings of one-hit, one-strikeout relief, and Jeon Sang-hyun pitched 1 1/3 innings of perfect relief to shut down Samsung’s resistance.

At the plate, the Kia lineup was led by Kim Do-young with one hit, one home run, one RBI and one run scored, Park Chan-ho with two hits, one RBI, two runs scored and two walks, Na Sung-beom with two hits, one RBI and one run scored, Socrates with three hits, two RBI and one stolen base, and Kim Tae-gun with one hit, one home run, one RBI and one run scored.

With the win, Kia improved to 47 wins, 33 losses, and two draws on the season, extending its lead over second-place LG Twins (45 wins, 38 losses, and two draws) to 3.5 games after being swept by Kiwoom Heroes for the second straight day. The team continued its good momentum after defeating Samsung the previous day to secure first place in the first half.

The Kia bench, which gave its all, was rewarded with back-to-back wins. Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning, the game-winning move of replacing starter Cam Aldred with right-hander Jang Hyun-sik with runners on second and third worked.

Jang gave up back-to-back RBI singles to Kim Heon-gon and Koo Ja-uk to cut the deficit to 3-4, but then shut down the Samsung offense in the fifth and sixth innings.

After the game, Kia manager Lee Bum-ho said, “It was another game where our late-game concentration stood out like the day before.” “I saw the timing of the change to Jang 먹튀검증 Hyun-sik in the bottom of the fifth inning with runners on second and third as the primary game-changer,” he said.

“Although Jang gave up a run to Samsung in the bottom of the fifth inning, he shut down the sixth and seventh innings, which is why we were able to come back,” he said, adding, “Jeon Sang-hyun pitched in a crisis situation for the second game in a row and did a great job of preserving the win.”

Lee was also pleased with the performances of key hitters Na Sung-beom and Socrates, who turned the tide of the game in the top of the seventh inning. Na tied the game, and Socrates delivered the game-winning hit.

“It was a tough game for the bats, as we scored the first three runs of the game and didn’t score any additional runs,” said Lee Bum-ho. “However, after conceding the lead, we were able to turn the game around again in the top of the seventh inning with Na’s tying single and Socrates’ game-winning single. Park Chan-ho’s triple in the top of the eighth inning gave us a little more breathing room.”

“All the players on the field did their best, which is why we were able to win back-to-back valuable matches,” said Mr. Lee. “I would like to thank our fans for their hard work and support in the hot weather. We will prepare well for tomorrow so that we can reap the beauty of the first half of the season.”

Meanwhile, Kia will face Samsung in the final game of the first half on April 4, with homegrown ace Yang Hyun-jong starting.

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