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Orioles' Kim Hyun-soo gets 2 hits in MLB debut

All News 07:29 April 11, 2016

SEOUL, April 11 (Yonhap) -- The Baltimore Orioles South Korean outfielder Kim Hyun-soo recorded two hits in his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut Sunday.

Batting ninth and playing left field, Kim went 2-for-3 with a run scored as the Orioles defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. The Orioles improved to 5-0 this season.

Kim, an All-Star in South Korea who signed a two-year deal with the Orioles last December, had watched the club's previous four games on the bench. He had a dismal spring -- batting just .178 with no extra-base hits -- while a career minor leaguer Joey Rickard outperformed him and worked his way into the Opening Day lineup in left field.

The O's manager, Buck Showalter, said earlier in the week that he would get all his players into a game during the club's six-game homestand. After rain wiped out the game scheduled for Saturday, Showalter kept his word and penciled Kim into his lineup card Sunday.

Both of Kim's hits were of the infield variety. In his first at-bat in the bottom second, with a man on at two outs, Kim hit a soft comebacker that bounced toward shallow third. Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi made a bid on it, but the ball went off his glove for a single.

Kim scored on a two-run home run by Manny Machado later in the same inning.

For his second hit, Kim hit a grounder to the hole between first and second. With the shift on, shortstop Brad Miller -- playing on the right field side of the bag -- moved to his left and fell down as he made the grab and failed to make the throw from his knees.

Kim was lifted for pinch runner Nolan Reimold after the play.

Kim's first hit in spring training had also been an infield hit. The career .318 hitter in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) with a batting title has yet to make the kind of hard contact in the majors that earned him the moniker "Hitting Machine" in his native land.

Elsewhere, St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Oh Seung-hwan earned his first MLB win in relief after striking out two in one perfect inning against the Atlanta Braves.

The South Korean has now tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings across four appearances. He has struck out eight without giving up a hit, though he has also issued four walks.

Oh started the bottom of the seventh inning at Turner Field in Atlanta with the Cardinals trailing 6-5. He promptly struck out Hector Olivera swinging on a 2-2 fastball that checked in at 91 mph. The next batter, Tyler Flowers, also went down swinging, this time on an 85-mph slider.

Kelly Johnson grounded out to second as Oh worked another shutout inning. Matt Holliday pinch hit in Oh's spot in the order in the top eighth.

Oh was credited with the victory after the Cardinals scored two runs in the eighth and six more in the ninth for a 12-7 win.

Oh, the career saves leader in the KBO who also thrived in Japan, is the first South Korean pitcher to win a big league game since Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers in August 2014. Ryu missed all last season with a shoulder injury.

Oh is also the first South Korean to record a win in relief in more than five years, after Park Chan-ho did so for the Pittsburgh Pirates in October 2010.

In the American League, Choo Shin-soo of the Texas Rangers was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a strained right calf muscle. The Rangers said the South Korean veteran is expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks.

The 33-year-old opened the season batting 3-for-16 with an RBI and a steal.


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