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(3rd LD) Mariners' Lee Dae-ho belts walk-off home run

All Headlines 13:48 April 14, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS more results in last 8 paras)

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 of the 10th.

Lee looked at a 97-mph fastball for a first pitch strike. He fouled off another heater, 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 on 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 Mariners rookie to hit a pinch-hit walk-off home run.

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

Former first baseman Choi Hee-seop and Lee's childhood friend, the Rangers outfielder Choo Shin-soo, are the only other South Koreans to hit a walk-off shot.

Choi hit his game-winning shot in June 2005 against the Minnesota Twins while playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Choo has two such blasts: first for the Cleveland Indians in 2011 and for the Cincinnati Reds in 2013.

All three blasts came in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Elsewhere in the majors Wednesday, St. Louis Cardinals reliever Oh Seung-hwan tossed another shutout inning, extending his streak to 4 2/3.

Oh came on in the top of the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, with the Cards trailing 4-3. Oh retired Domingo Santana on a grounder to second, and induced a flyout off the bat of Scooter Gennett.

Oh then struck out Ryan Braun on three pitches, the last one a 94-mph fastball. The Cardinals lost the game 6-4.

Oh hasn't given up a hit or a run in 4 2/3 innings, spanning five appearances. He has struck out nine batters.

In the American League, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Kim Hyun-soo went 0-for-2 with two walks against the Boston Red Sox in his second big league start.

Kim, batting ninth and playing left field, drew a walk in each of his first two plate appearances, before striking out and flying out in his next two times at the plate.

Kim, who signed with the O's in December, had a miserable spring and has been getting only limited opportunities at the onset of the regular season. Joey Rickard, a Rule 5 pick who outperformed Kim in spring, played left field to start the season but has been filling in for an injured Adam Jones in center recently, making room for Kim to get some reps in left.

The Orioles lost 4-2 as their seven-game winning streak came to an end.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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