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(LEAD) Mariners' Lee Dae-ho belts walk-off home run

All News 09:19 April 14, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS details throughout, photo)

SEOUL, April 14 (Yonhap) -- Lee Dae-ho of the Seattle Mariners belted a walk-off home run Wednesday for his second long ball of the season.

Lee launched a two-run blast in the bottom of the 10th inning against the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field in Seattle, lifting the M's to a 4-2 victory.

Lee started the game on the bench and pinch-hit for first baseman Adam Lind against left-hander Jake Diekman, with a man on and two outs in the bottom 10th.

Lee looked at a 97-mile-per-hour fastball for a first pitch strike. He fouled off another heat, this time at 95 mph. When Diekman challenged Lee with another 97-mph fastball, the South Korean was more than ready, turning on the high pitch and sending it over the left field wall.

The Mariners lost their 2-1 lead in the top eighth but improved to 3-6 thanks to Lee's heroics. The victory also snapped the Mariners' losing streak at five games.

The right-handed batting Lee signed with the Mariners in February as a backup to Lind, who bats left-handed. With right-hander A.J. Griffin starting for the Rangers Wednesday, Lind got the nod at first base.

Lind went 1-for-4 but with the hard-throwing Diekman on the mound in the 10th, Lee stepped in for the veteran and delivered the game-winning shot.

Lee, former regular season MVP in Korea and championship series MVP in Japan, is now batting 3-for-13 this season.

Lee is the first Korean player to hit a walk-off home run in extra innings in the majors.

His childhood friend, the Rangers' outfielder Choo Shin-soo, is the only other South Korean to hit a walk-off shot. He has two such blasts, both of them coming in the bottom of the ninth inning.


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