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(LEAD) Doosan defeats NC, takes 2-0 lead in Korean Series

All Headlines 18:02 October 30, 2016

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By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Oct. 30 (Yonhap) -- The Doosan Bears defeated the NC Dinos 5-1 to open a 2-0 lead in the Korean Series on Sunday.

The Bears broke the 1-1 deadlock by scoring four runs with two outs in the bottom of the eighth at Jamsil Stadium, and starter Chang Won-jun came within an out of a complete game victory, as the Bears moved to within two wins of winning their second straight Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) championship.

The go-ahead run came on a wild pitch, and cleanup Kim Jae-hwan added an insurance run with a solo home run. The Bears tacked on two more runs on a single and a double.

Chang held the Dinos to a run while scattering 10 singles, a second straight quality start by a Bears pitcher in the series.

There have been 33 Korean Series, and this is the third time the Bears have built a 2-0 lead in the final. The 2007 Bears and the 2013 Bears also went up two games to none in the Korean Series, but they are actually the only teams in league history to blow a 2-0 advantage to lose the Korean Series.

Kim Jae-hwan of the Doosan Bears celebrates his solo home run against the NC Dinos in Game 2 of the Korean Series baseball game at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Oct. 30, 2016. (Yonhap)

Game 3 is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Masan Stadium, the Dinos' home, in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, some 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

The Bears couldn't solve NC starter Eric Hacker in the first three innings, but finally got to him in the fourth. They opened the inning with three straight singles to load the bases, and one out later Yang Eui-ji dumped a bloop single into shallow center to knock in the game's first run.

The Bears batted just 1-for-11 with men in the scoring position in Saturday's 1-0 victory.

The Dinos managed just five singles off Chang through seven innings, while hitting into three double plays.

They grounded into another twin killing in the eighth, but with two outs, they got three straight singles to tie the game at 1-1.

With men at the corners, leadoff man Lee Jong-wook lined one into left field for his third hit of the day.

It was the Dinos' first opportunity with a man in scoring position, and they wouldn't threaten again.

Chang Won-jun of the Doosan Bears throws a pitch against the NC Dinos in Game 2 of the Korean Series baseball game at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Oct. 30, 2016. (Yonhap)

And the deadlock didn't last very long. In the bottom eighth, Park Kun-woo was hit by a pitch from Hacker and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and a ground out. Then he scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch with Kim Jae-hwan at the plate.

Two pitches later, Kim hammered a 2-0 offering and sent it deep into the right-field seats, making it 3-1 Bears.

The homer chased Hacker from the game, and against the helpless Dinos bullpen the Bears got another run on Oh Jae-il's single, which was followed by Yang's RBI double.

Chang got two outs in the ninth but had to leave the game with a blister on his left middle finger. Closer Lee Hyun-seung finished the game, as Chang still picked up his fifth career postseason victory.

Hacker, who'd settled down after giving up the first run in the fourth, came undone in the eighth inning to take the loss.

Yang, the Doosan catcher who moved down from fifth in Game 1 to seventh in Game 2, went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

Doosan manager Kim Tae-hyung said starting the Korean Series with two straight wins has done wonders for his club's collective confidence.

"These two victories obviously lift a lot of pressure off our players and coaches," Kim said. "If we can just keep up the momentum, we should have a good result in the end."

Yang was the offensive star, but Kim said the catcher also did an excellent job working with Chang behind the plate.

The Bears will try to open a 3-0 lead with right-hander Michael Bowden starting on Tuesday. Bowden threw a no-hitter against the Dinos on June 30 and went 2-1 against them in the regular season with a 1.17 ERA. Only one NC hitter, Park Sok-min, has managed at least two hits off Bowden.

The Dinos will start Choi Keum-kang in Game 3. The right-hander split his time in the rotation and the bullpen, with an 11-4 mark and a 5.00 ERA in 52 appearances.

He was 2-0 with a 9.00 ERA in five meetings against the Bears.


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