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Expansion KT Wiz searching for first KBO win as starters struggle

All Headlines 15:16 April 02, 2015

SEOUL, April 2 (Yonhap) -- The expansion KT Wiz are still looking for their first-ever victory in the KBO League, as their starters continue to have problems staying in the game.

The Wiz have lost their first four games of their inaugural season so far, the latest being a 5-1 loss to the Samsung Lions at home in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, on Wednesday.

Through those four games, only one starter, rookie Park Se-woong, has lasted at least five innings. The rotation's woes contributed to the team's 7.41 ERA, easily the worst mark in the 10-team competition.

On Wednesday, Park appeared on track to end the futility streak for the Wiz. He was perfect through three innings, retiring the first nine batters he faced in order.

Then the bottom fell out in the fourth. In that inning alone, Park gave up three hits and four walks, as the Lions scored four times. The bright side of his outing was that Park became the first KT starter to pitch at least five innings. He was charged with four earned runs in those frames.

"It's disappointing to lose like that, but I think I learned so much," Park said. "I should have minimized the damage. I will try to be better in my next appearance."

Before Park, the Wiz's three foreign pitchers each took the mound, but they all disappointed. Phil Irwin, who started on Opening Day, was shelled for seven earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. Andy Sisco allowed five earned runs in four innings. Then Chris Oxspring, now on his third KBO League club, was charged with six earned runs in four innings.

On the flip side, the Wiz are swinging a hot bat out of the gate. They're batting .279, good for fourth in the league and have scored 20 runs so far to rank third. They also have the second most hits with 39.

Manager Cho Bum-hyun said the sample size so far is too small to determine where his club is headed.

"I haven't even settled on the batting order," he said. "I hope some of the young players can make adjustments quickly. These games are different than spring training games. I have to wait and see how the kids adjust and build the team from there."

Though the Wiz have lost every game so far, Cho said he has seen promise.

"The young guys might not play well right away, but I have to keep using them because they have talent," the manager added. "It's encouraging to see them score a bunch of runs in big innings. Now that we're playing in the real season, they're concentrating harder."

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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