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Cardinals' Kim Kwang-hyun poised for breezy victory in blowout

All News 10:13 September 02, 2020

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) -- The St. Louis Cardinals' South Korean starter Kim Kwang-hyun has put himself in line for his second victory in a breezy outing helped by a potent offense.

Kim tossed five shutout innings against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Tuesday (local time), giving up just three hits and striking out four. He lowered his ERA to a miniscule 0.83 and left with the Cardinals up 13-0.

Kim picked up his first major league win against the same Reds on Aug. 22, when he held them scoreless for six innings.

Kim hasn't allowed an earned run over his past three starts, spanning 17 frames.

In this Getty Images photo, Kim Kwang-hyun of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Cincinnati Reds in the bottom of the first inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Sept. 1, 2020. (Yonhap)

The Cardinals gave Kim a 6-0 lead before he even took the mound. They sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the first inning and roughed up starter Sonny Gray for five hits and three walks. Brad Miller, Dexter Fowler and Kolten Wong each produced two-run hits, as they chased Gray, who had a 1.94 ERA before this game, with two outs in the first inning.

With a comfortable lead, Kim walked Joey Votto to start the bottom first, but got Nick Castellanos to bounce into a double play on the first pitch. Kim then struck out Matt Davidson on a slider, completing a tidy, 12-pitch inning.

The Cardinals scored twice more in the top second, courtesy of a two-run homer by Miller.

Kim struck out the first two batters of the bottom second and then pitched around a walk to Aristides Aquino to keep it an 8-0 game.

Tommy Edman's double made it a 9-0 St. Louis lead in the top third, not that Kim needed any more help.

Kim gave up consecutive one-out singles in the bottom third but then got Castellanos ground into his second double play of the game to escape the jam.

With one out in the fourth, Eugenio Suarez doubled down the left field line for the first extra-base hit against Kim. Suarez was stranded there, as Kim got a flyout and a groundout against the next two batters.

Kim had a much easier time in the top fifth, with a couple of flyouts followed by a strikeout. It turned out to be Kim's first and final clean inning.

Andrew Knizner's pinch-hit single made it 13-0 for the Cardinals in the top sixth, and with Kim's pitch count up to 85 and the top of the Reds' lineup coming up for the third time against him, the Cardinals turned to the bullpen to begin the bottom sixth.

The Cardinals pounded out 18 hits in support of Kim.

In this Associated Press photo, Kim Kwang-hyun of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Cincinnati Reds in the bottom of the third inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Sept. 1, 2020. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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