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(LEAD) Doosan beats Samsung to take Korean Series opener

All Headlines 22:11 October 24, 2013

(ATTN: ADDS Game 2 starters at bottom)

DAEGU, Oct. 24 (Yonhap) -- The Doosan Bears defeated the Samsung Lions 7-2 to open the Korean Series here on Thursday, taking a major first step toward the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) championship.

Visiting Daegu Stadium, the Bears pounded the Lions' pitching for 12 hits, including two solo home runs, in the resounding victory to start the best-of-seven showdown.

Shortstop Son Si-heon, making his first postseason start this year, went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs to pace the Bears' offense.

The second game will be back at Daegu Stadium at 6 p.m. Friday. The Bears are trying to win their first championship since 2001, while the Lions are chasing their third consecutive title.

The Lions had the bye to the Korean Series after winning the pennant. This was their first game since their final regular season game on Oct. 3.

The Bears finished fourth in the regular season and had to get past the Nexen Heroes and then the LG Twins in the two earlier playoff rounds to reach the Korean Series. They had played nine games in a 13-day span before resting from Monday to Wednesday. No fourth-place club has won the Korean Series.

In the past 30 Korean Series, the winner of the first game ended up winning the championship 24 times. In 1982, the Bears and the Lions ended the first game in a tie.

The Lions got on the board first with Park Seok-min's solo home run off starter Noh Kyung-eun in the bottom of the first, but the Bears responded right away in the top second, thanks to three straight run-scoring singles with two outs off starter Yoon Sung-hwan.

With runners at first and second, Choi Jae-hoon delivered a single to right to tie the score. Then Son lined a go-ahead single up the middle.

Lee Jong-wook followed up with a single of his own, giving the Bears a 3-1 cushion.

The Bears blew the game wide open with a three-run fifth, with Kim Hyun-soo kicking things off with a towering solo shot to right for a 4-1 lead.

It was the first career Korean Series homer for Kim, who had a .143 batting average with no extra base hits in his 11 previous Korean Series games.

After back-to-back singles and a wild pitch that put runners at second and third, Lee Won-seok drove both home with a triple to center.

That was the final blow to Samsung's starter Yoon, who was knocked around for 10 hits and six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings to take the loss.

Son added insult to Samsung's injury with a solo home run in the sixth inning for his first career postseason home run that made it 7-1 for the Bears.

Son batted .316 in 12 regular season games against the Lions, his highest batting average against any team in 2013. He hit .252 for the season.

Noh earned his first Korean Series victory after hurling 6 1/3 strong innings, giving up four hits and one earned run while striking out seven. The right-hander quickly settled down after serving up the first-inning homer to Park and held the Lions to three more singles over his next 5 2/3 innings.

The Lions salvaged a run in the bottom of the ninth on a grounder, after blowing earlier opportunities to cut the deficit.

In the bottom seventh, they had two straight singles with one out, but Kim Tae-wan grounded into an inning-ending double play.

The Lions loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom eighth, but cleanup Choi Hyung-woo grounded out to first as part of his 0-for-4 night.

For the Bears, designated hitter Hong Sung-heun went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Choi Jae-hoon was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run from the eighth spot.

The Bears said after the game that right-hander Dustin Nippert will start Game 2 on Friday. The Lions said they will send right-hander Rick van den Hurk to the mound to start the second game.

Nippert went 12-4 in his third KBO season, and was 3-0 against the Lions in three starts, giving up just four earned runs in 19 innings for a 1.89 ERA.

In his three KBO seasons, the American right-hander has gone 8-1 with a 2.09 ERA in 12 appearances against Samsung.

Van den Hurk was 7-9 with a 3.95 ERA this season, his first in the KBO. The Dutchman won his only start against the Bears, holding them to one run on four hits in six innings on Aug. 22.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
(END)

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