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(LEAD) Cardinals closer Oh Seung-hwan serves up home run for 2nd straight outing

All News 09:54 April 10, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS details, comments at bottom)

SEOUL, April 10 (Yonhap) -- St. Louis Cardinals closer Oh Seung-hwan has served up a home run for his second straight outing, as his shaky start to the 2017 season continues.

Oh gave up a solo shot against the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Sunday (local time) in the Cardinals' 8-0 loss.

This was Oh's first appearance since the season opener the previous Sunday. He hadn't been in a save situation with the Cardinals losing three in a row and then beating the Reds 10-4 on Saturday.

Oh took the mound in the top of the ninth with the Cards down 7-0. The South Korean right-hander got Jose Peraza to pop out to shortstop to open the inning, but then Joey Votto drove a 1-0 slider over the right field wall to pad the Reds' lead.

Oh was touched for a three-run shot against the Chicago Cubs in his season debut. The second-year big leaguer allowed just five home runs all of last season and never did so in back-to-back games.

The first home run off Oh last year came on May 25, and he didn't give up his second long ball until July 22.

After Votto's home run, Oh allowed a walk and a single, before retiring the next two batters on pop flies.

The home run was also the sixth hit off five St. Louis relievers in the first six games of the season.

The Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said he still has faith in the 34-year-old Oh.

"I think he's not his sharpest right now, but we know what we've got with him," Matheny told MLB.com. "He's going to be one of the best in the game this year. We just have to keep giving him the work he needs to be sharp."

Oh now has a 13.50 ERA in 2 2/3 innings this season. He posted a 1.92 ERA in 79 2/3 innings in 2016, along with 19 saves after replacing Trevor Rosenthal as the closer in July.


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