The Doosan Bears forgot how to lose again.
Doosan won 8-3 against the Kia Tigers of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League on Sunday at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field behind a strong start from starter Raul Alcantara, an ironclad pitching staff, and a four-RBI performance from Yang Seok-hwan. A six-game winning streak secured at least fifth place. Following an 11-game winning streak at the end of the first half, the team reeled off six straight wins. Kia lost its fourth straight game as its defense and lack of focus showed.
KIA’s Thomas Pannoni and Doosan’s Raul Alcantara were matched up against each other on the outside. Pannoni had pitched six shutout innings against Doosan in Game 1. Alcantara had been a killer in three games with KIA, pitching 18 innings with one earned run and a 0.50 ERA. While a tight pitching matchup was expected, the batting battle was a surprise.
Kia failed to capitalize on runners on first and second in the bottom of the first inning. Doosan took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a solo shot to left field by Kang Seung-ho. Kang Seung-ho followed with a single in the fourth inning to extend his hitting streak to six straight at-bats, including a reverse natural cycling hit on the 15th. His hitting streak came to a halt in the sixth inning when he grounded out to second base. He nearly completed his second consecutive cycling hit with a double in the eighth.
Kia tied the game in the bottom of the second when Kim Sun-bin singled to center and Byun Woo-hyuk followed with a single to left. However, Kim Do-young was thrown out at shortstop to end the inning with runners on first and second. In the top of the third, Choi Won-jun led off with a double to right-center, but Na Sung-beom and Choi Hyung-woo struck out and were retired on a Socratic straight hit.
After escaping the jam, Doosan added a run in the bottom of the inning off the foot of Cho. He laid down an exquisite bunt in front of the third baseman and touched first base with a sprint and a head-slide. Here, he took advantage of another KIA error. Two batters later, Kim Jae-ho’s throw was missed by Kia third baseman Byun Woo-hyuk, and Yang Seok-hwan singled to left to bring in Cho.
Doosan made it 3-1 in the top of the fifth when Park Jun-young hit a solo shot to left. Cho Su-hyun followed with a single to center and Jeong Soo-bin followed with a bunt single in front of the catcher. Following a Kim Jae-ho sacrifice bunt, Yang Seok-hwan hit a double to center field to bring in both runners and extend the lead to 5-1. Bunts and quick feet from Cho and Jeong Soo-bin got Panoni out.
It looked like the tide was turning, but KIA had one back. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Choi Won-jun singled up the middle and Na Sung-beom launched a two-run shot to cut the deficit to 3-5. It was his 18th arch of the season. KIA pulled Pannoni from the game in the sixth and brought up Yoon Jung-hyun and Kim Dae-yoo to try to chase down the lead. Panoni gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits (two home runs) in five innings. The Tigers couldn’t capitalize on a two-out rally in the ninth inning.
Doosan capitalized on another KIA error. In the top of the seventh, leadoff hitter Jung Soo-bin hit a grounder in front of the pitcher, but Kia pitcher Kim Dae-yoo’s throw to first base allowed him to reach second base unharmed. Kim Jae-ho followed with a bunt single and Yang Seok-hwan followed with a single to left field. Yang led the offense with three hits and four RBIs on the day. In the eighth inning, Kang Seung-ho led off with a double and was brought in by Cho Su-hyun with an RBI single. In the ninth, Yang Yang-ji launched a solo shot.안전놀이터
Alcantara earned his 13th win of the season after going six innings and allowing three runs on eight hits with one walk and three strikeouts. He partnered with Yang to keep the KIA bats to a minimum to extend their winning streak. Kim Myung-shin retired the side in order in the seventh inning. After Hong Gun-hee drew a bases-loaded walk in the ninth, Jung Chul-won closed out the game.