‘Firepower backfires’ as Lotte Giants snap 6-game winning streak

The Lotte Giants had their six-game winning streak snapped. They missed chances when they needed extra runs, and missed chances to regain the lead with a costly error. The red-hot offense they showed throughout June was still there.

Lotte lost 8-13 on the road against the Doosan Bears in the 2024 KBO League at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on March 3. They scored six runs in two offensive innings and looked to have the game in hand, but the mound collapsed. The loss snapped Lotte’s six-game winless streak and five-game winning streak dating back to last month’s 22nd game against the Kiwoom Heroes.

Lotte, who led the team in batting average in June (0.312), came out hot from the start. With the bases loaded in the top of the first inning, captain Jeon Jun-woo took advantage of a four-seam fastball from starter Raul Alcantara for a leadoff solo home run over the left field wall.

The second inning was a five-run blast. Leadoff hitter Na Seung-yup drew a walk, Choi Hang singled up the middle, and one batter later, Son Sung-bin drew a walk. With the bases loaded, Noh Jin-hyuk came to the plate. The strong data against Alcantara came into play. The result was a single to right. Two runners crossed the plate.
Lotte built up again from the lull. Two batters later, Yoon Dong-hee drew a walk to load the bases, and in his second at-bat of the game, Jeon Jun-woo hit a long shot to the outfield that sailed past third base, bringing all three runners home. 6-1, five-run lead.

Starting pitcher Park Se-woong gave up three runs in the first inning. In the bottom of the second, back-to-back singles by Yang Seok-hwan and Kang Seung-oh scored a run, and in the top of the third, Yang Ji-hit a two-run homer to center field.

Lotte failed to capitalize on their chances in the fourth inning. With the bases loaded, Yoon Dong-hee singled to left-center off Kim Min-kyu and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Jeon Jun-woo and Victor Reyes followed with back-to-back walks. However, Na Seung-yup failed to capitalize on a low-course ball from reliever Lee Young-ha and was thrown out at the plate, and Choi Hang followed with a grounder to second.

Three consecutive innings of silence after the early scoring. Park Se-woong suddenly faltered. In the fifth inning, he gave up back-to-back singles to leadoff hitter Heo Kyung-min and then Henry Ramos, and a full-count ball to the body (right-handed) against Yang Ji-hyun was ruled a ball.

Manager Kim Tae-hyung immediately made his move, replacing the pitcher with veteran Kim Sang-soo, who seemed to get a respite from the Doosan slugger by striking him out with his signature forkball. But in a two-pitch, two-strike at-bat against the next batter, Yang Seok-hwan, his fastball was on the body (for a right-hander) and the batter pulled it over the left-field fence. A run scored. Lotte took a 7-6 lead.

The game was out of reach. LOTTE needed a run in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game, and they did just that against a strong pitching performance from Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop, who used four pitchers. Hwang Sung-bin led 토토사이트 off with a single to right and stole second, and Yoon Dong-hee followed with an infield single to make it 1-3. A batter later, Reyes singled and advanced to second on a throwing error. Reyes then drew a walk.

After starting the inning with Kim Kang-ryul, Doosan brought in Park Chi-guk to pinch-hit for Joon-woo Jeon with runners on first and third and immediately brought in left-hander Lee Byung-heon to face Reyes. After giving up a walk to Reyes, Byung-heon struck out the next batter, Na Seung-yeop, to complete the job. After Lotte manager Kim Tae-hyung brought in right-hander Jung-hoon to pinch-hit, Lee Seung-yeop responded with right-hander Choi Ji-kang. Kim again brought in left-hander Lee Jung-hoon, who drew a walk to load the bases with two outs. The score was tied at 7-7.

In this situation, Lotte missed another scoring opportunity in the fourth inning and left themselves off balance. In the top of the seventh inning, with the bases loaded, Noh Jin-hyuk drew a walk from Choi Ji-kang to load the bases for Jang Doo-sung. In his fifth at-bat, Hwang Sung-bin lined a ball down the right field line. The infielders, including Doosan first baseman Yang Seok-hwan, waited for the ball to cross the foul line, but it stopped just inside.

On the next play, Jang Doo-sung raced to third base, and the out was made. The Doosan infielders watched the ball and tried to advance at the last possible moment. Yang Seok-hwan’s throw was caught by Doosan third baseman Heo Kyung-min, who attempted to tag him. The out was so obvious that no video replay was needed.

Lotte regained the lead on defense in the bottom of the seventh inning. Pitcher Lee Min-seok gave up a single to left off Ramos and then a wild pitch against Yang Yang-ji. The bases were loaded. Lotte brought in veteran left-handed reliever Jin Hae-soo, but he gave up a single to Kim Jae-hwan to load the bases, followed by a double to right field to Yang Seok-hwan. Set-up man Koo Seung-min came in, but he gave up another run on a strikeout and a groundout.

Lotte’s six-game winning streak came to an end. In the top of the eighth inning, Reyes doubled and Na Seung-yeop singled to tie the game, but the defense got into trouble with a sandbag and a throwing error by the catcher that allowed a stolen base, allowing Yang Ji to hit a grand slam. This is where the game was decided.

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