By Oh Sang-jin Reporter= Hangzhou Asian Games pitcher Na Gyun-an (25, Lotte Giants) couldn’t save his team from defeat. Lotte, on the road, self-destructed with errors and bullpen arson.
Lotte came from behind to lose 2-7 against the Samsung Lions of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League on Saturday at Munsu Baseball Stadium in Ulsan, South Korea. Starter Na Gyun-ahn threw 115 pitches over six innings, allowing four hits, three walks, eight strikeouts and one unearned run (unearned), but the offense, defense and bullpen couldn’t help.
Lotte starter Na Gyun-ahn shut down Samsung’s offense in the top of the first inning with a triple play, including two strikeouts. In the bottom of the first, LOTTE had a chance to put runners in scoring position when Lee Jung-hoon doubled, but Ahn Chi-hong grounded out and Jeon Jun-woo struck out to end the threat.
After the missed opportunity, Lotte struck first in the top of the second. Na Gyun-an gave up a walk to Kang Min-ho and a single to Pirela to put runners on first and second with no outs. Na induced a shallow fly ball to center field against Oh Jae-il, but shortstop Nico Gudrum made a throwing error while chasing it down. What should have been runners on first and second turned into a bases-loaded, no-out situation, but Na didn’t falter and got out of it with a sacrifice fly.
In the top of the third inning, Na gave up a single to Koo Ja-rook and a walk to Kang Min-ho to put runners on first and second, but he struck out Pirela to end the inning without allowing a run. In the bottom of the third inning, the LOTTE bats were unable to capitalize after Ko Seung-min drew a one-out walk, but failed to follow up with a hit.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, LOTTE put runners on first and second with a single by Jeon Jun-woo and a walk to Yoo Kang-nam, but Goodrum, who had reached on an error to start the inning, threw cold water on the tying run.
After Na Gyun-an pitched a scoreless sixth inning, the Lotte bats finally responded. In the bottom of the sixth, Jeong Hoon led off with a walk and the next batter, Lee Jung-hoon, hit a tying double to tie the game at 1-1. Ahn Chi-hong followed with a single to put runners on first and third, and Jeon Jun-woo’s grounder to shortstop allowed Lee to score from third, giving Lotte a 2-1 lead. Samsung pulled Widener and brought in right-handed reliever Lee Seung-hyun. LOTTE was unable to capitalize on the ensuing runners in scoring position as Yoo Kang-nam flied out to center field and Gudrum grounded out to short.
Lotte’s hard-fought lead didn’t last long. LOTTE sent Choi Jun-yong to the mound, but he gave up an infield single to Kim Ji-chan to lead off the inning. Choi gave himself some breathing room by fouling off Kim Hyun-joon, but then gave up a single to Kim Sung-yoon to put runners on first and third, and eventually gave up a two-run double to Koo Ja-rook.
Trailing 2-3 in the top of the eighth, Lotte brought in left-handed reliever Kim Jin-wook, but the change proved to be poison for Lotte. After striking out leadoff hitter Oh Jae-il, Kim faltered sharply after giving up a double to the next batter, Ryu Ji-hyuk. After giving up back-to-back singles to Lee Jae-hyun and Kim Ji-chan to load the bases, Kim eventually gave up a run-scoring single to Kim Hyun-joon on a straight ball. The Lotte bench pulled Kim and brought in Jin Seung-hyun, but it was too late. Seung-hyun grounded out to Kim Sung-yoon for the second out, but gave up an eight-pitch walk to Koo Ja-uk. Kang Min-ho followed with a two-run double to make it 7-2.
Lotte retired the side in order in both the eighth and ninth innings, and ultimately lost 2-7. Reliever Choi Joon-yong (1 inning, 3 hits, 2 runs) took the loss, and Kim Jin-wook (1 inning, 3 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks) blew his own save to end the team’s chances. The bats were also held to five hits and two runs, while Goodrum, who committed an error, went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout, much to the chagrin of the Lotte bench.토스카지노
Lotte, which is 53-60 (0.469 winning percentage) on the season, is now seven games behind the fifth-place KIA Tigers (57-50, two ties, 0.533 winning percentage), who won their ninth straight game on the same day, and its fall baseball hopes are fading fast.