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Kiwoom Heroes beat Doosan Bears in KBO preseason slugfest

All News 16:59 April 29, 2020

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, April 29 (Yonhap) -- The Kiwoom Heroes outdueled the Doosan Bears 10-6 in a Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) preseason game on Wednesday, emerging victorious from a slugfest that featured some crooked numbers.

The first four batters in the Heroes' starting lineup -- Kim Hye-seong, Kim Ha-seong, Lee Jung-hoo and Park Byung-ho -- combined to go 9-for-13 with eight RBIs and eight runs scored. Kiwoom's new foreign hitter, Taylor Motter, finally had his first hit of the preseason with a fifth-inning double, which ended a 0-for-12 funk.

Park Byung-ho of the Kiwoom Heroes (R) celebrates his two-run home run with teammates Lee Jung-hoo (C) and Lee Taek-keun during a Korea Baseball Organization preseason game against the Doosan Bears at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on April 29, 2020. (Yonhap)

The teams traded 24 hits at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, with cracks of their bats echoing through some 16,000 empty seats.

All preseason games are being played without fans, due to lingering coronavirus concerns. Though a recent decline in infections has allowed the KBO to reschedule its Opening Day from March 28 to May 5, the early part of the regular season will still be played behind closed doors.

The Heroes exploded for five runs in the bottom of the third against starter Choi Won-joon. No. 2 hitter Kim Ha-seong drove in the game's first run with a double, and Lee Jung-hoo followed with a two-run single. Cleanup Park Byung-ho then smacked a two-run home run to the deepest part of the park in right center, putting his team up 5-0.

The Heroes tacked on three more runs in the fourth. Kim drove in his second run of the game with a single, and with Lee at the plate, Doosan reliever Kwon Hyuk was called for a balk that let in a run from third base.

Lee then lined a double to deep right field for an 8-0 advantage.

The Bears put up a big number of their own, as they scored six runs in the top of the sixth to make the game more interesting.

A Korea Baseball Organization preseason game between the Kiwoom Heroes and the Doosan Bears takes place at an empty Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on April 29, 2020. (Yonhap)

All six runs were scored with two outs in the inning. Jose Miguel Fernandez opened the flood gate with a bases-loaded single to cut it to 8-2. Choi Joo-hwan's single made it 8-3, and another run crossed the plate when third baseman Kim Hye-seong booted a routine grounder.

Kim Ha-seong's fielding error at shortstop allowed the Bears to creep all the way up to 8-6.

But Kim atoned for that miscue with a run-scoring single in the bottom sixth, for his third RBI of the game. Lee Ji-young then delivered a pinch-hit single for a 10-6 Heroes lead.

The Heroes rolled out their top two starters, Jake Brigham and Eric Jokisch, in the final audition for the Opening Day assignment. Brigham appeared to have won the job with three shutout innings, in which he struck out three and walked none.

Jokisch was charged with three earned runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Jake Brigham of the Kiwoom Heroes pitches against the Doosan Bears in a Korea Baseball Organization preseason game at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on April 29, 2020. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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