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Ability to capitalize on offense makes difference in Korean Series clincher

All Headlines 22:31 November 11, 2014

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Nov. 11 (Yonhap) -- In the end, the 2014 Korean Series came down to the ability to pounce on scoring opportunities.

The Samsung Lions were crowned the South Korean baseball champs for the fourth consecutive year thanks to an 11-1 victory over the Nexen Heroes in Game 6 on Tuesday. They put up four runs on the board in the third inning and three more in the sixth, leaving more than enough breathing room for their starter, Yun Sung-hwan.

After Yun left the game, the Lions scored three more runs in the seventh for good measure. They scored their 11 runs on 11 hits.

In contrast, the Heroes managed only four hits, and hit into two double plays.

Yamaico Navarro, Samsung's power-hitting second baseman who hit 31 regular season homers, was the big offensive star. He belted a three-run shot in the sixth that gave the Lions a 7-1 advantage. It was his fourth home run of the series, tying the record for the most in a single Korean Series. He drove in five runs himself on Tuesday.

Yun, who held the Heroes to a run over seven innings in Game 2, submitted another excellent outing in the series clincher on Tuesday. He held the Heroes to a run on three hits over six innings. Only one man reached second base against the right-hander.

The Heroes, who led the regular season with 199 home runs and 841 runs scored, turned into a completely different team in the Korean Series. Their two leading sluggers, Park Byung-ho and Kang Jung-ho, disappeared in the series, going 4-for-41 with two home runs and four RBIs.

On Tuesday, Park went 0-for-4, and Kang was 0-for-3.

Down 4-0, the Heroes tried to rally in the bottom of the fourth but Park and Kang took the wind out of their sails. Seo Geon-chang led off the inning with a single and came home on a double by Lee Taek-keun.

Within three runs with the heart of their order coming up, this would be the Heroes' golden opportunity to make it a ballgame.

It didn't quite work out that way. Yoo Han-joon grounded out to third. Park went down swinging for his second strikeout of the night, and Kang flied out to right.

Navarro made the Heroes pay with his long ball in the top of the sixth.

The Heroes tried to rally again, as Lee Taek-keun hit a one-out single in the bottom of the sixth. Yoo, who'd hit safely in each of the first four games of the series, grounded into a 5-4-3, inning-ending double play.

That was the extent of the Heroes' offense on this night, but the Lions weren't done driving in runs.

In the seventh inning, with two men on board, pinch hitter Woo Dong-gyun hit a two-run single up the middle. Two batters later, Navarro brought home another runner with a single.

Navarro wasn't finished, driving in his fifth run of the night with a single in the ninth. He had three hits Tuesday and was 8-for-24 with four home runs -- tied for the most in a single Korean Series -- and 10 RBIs.

Perhaps in a fitting symbol of the Heroes' futility, Park had the final out of the series by flying out to right in the bottom of the ninth.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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