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(LEAD Cardinals' Kim Kwang-hyun takes no-decision despite another strong start

All News 07:21 August 28, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with final score in para 4)
By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Aug. 28 (Yonhap) -- St. Louis Cardinals' South Korean pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun did more than his part. He just didn't get enough run support or help from his infield.

Kim held the Pittsburgh Pirates to a run on three hits at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Thursday (local time), while striking out three and walking one. That run was unearned, coming as it did following a throwing error by St. Louis third baseman Brad Miller in the fourth inning.

The bullpen took over from Kim to begin the seventh inning with the score knotted at 1-1.

This was the first game of a doubleheader and was supposed to go seven innings. It went another inning, though, with the Pirates putting up a three-spot in the top of the eighth inning and holding on for a 4-3 victory.

Kim had earned his first career victory in his previous start last Saturday against the Cincinnati Reds, thanks to six shutout innings.

In this Associated Press photo, Kim Kwang-hyun of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates at the top of the second inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Aug. 27, 2020. (Yonhap)

And for this game, Kim picked up where he left off, as he cruised through the first three innings. After Erik Gonzalez's leadoff single in the first, Kim retired nine straight batters, with a couple of strikeouts sprinkled in.

But the infield defense betrayed him in the fourth inning, costing the Cardinals a run.

After fielding a routine chopper by Cole Tucker leading off that inning, Miller made a wide throw to first and allowed the runner to advance to second.

Kim did get some help from his outfield, as left fielder Tyler O'Neill made a spectacular running grab while crashing into the wall to rob Kevin Newman of an extra-base hit.

Kim walked Josh Bell on four pitches but struck out Bryan Reynolds swinging on a high fastball. One out away from escaping the jam, Kim hung a curveball to Jacob Stallings, who knocked it to left field for an RBI single and put the Pirates up 1-0.

In this Associated Press photo, Kim Kwang-hyun of the St. Louis Cardinals pauses after giving up an RBI single to Jacob Stallings of the Pittsburgh Pirates at the top of the fourth inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Aug. 27, 2020. (Yonhap)

Kim limited further damage in the fourth, and then retired the side in order in the fifth. Right fielder Dexter Fowler made a fine jumping grab near the warning track for the inning's first out.

Kim's batterymate, Yadier Molina, tied the game with a solo home run to lead off the bottom fifth, but another infield miscue nearly cost the Cardinals again in the sixth.

This time, it was second baseman Kolten Wong bobbling a groundball by Tucker to start the inning. Kevin Newman then dumped a single to right to put two on with nobody out for cleanup Josh Bell.

Kim dug deep and induced a 4-6-3 groundball off the bat of the Pirates slugger. Kim then retired Bryan Reynolds on a flyout to right field, stranding a man at third and keeping the score tied at 1-1.

The Cardinals drew back-to-back walks with two outs in the bottom sixth, but O'Neill struck out swinging to let Pittsburgh starter Chad Kuhl off the hook.

Right-hander Giovanny Gallegos relieved Kim to start the seventh.

Kim began the season as the closer and got his first big league save against the Pirates on July 24, despite giving up two runs in the ninth. As a starter, Kim has held opponents to two runs -- one unearned -- over 15 2/3 innings while allowing just nine hits.

In this Associated Press photo, Kim Kwang-hyun of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates at the top of the first inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Aug. 27, 2020. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
(END)

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