Lotte Giants outfielder Yoo Kang-nam quenched his thirst for the long ball and helped the team win its third straight game and sweep a three-game weekend series.
Yoo Kang-nam started in the No. 8 spot at catcher and went 2-for-4 with a home run, one RBI and one run scored to lead Lotte to a 6-5 victory in the fourth game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against the Kiwoom Heroes at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Sunday.
Yoo came to the rescue in the top of the seventh inning with runners on first and second with the score tied 0-0. Against Kiwoom left-hander Kim Jae-woong, Yoo hit a two-run double over the fence in right field to give Lotte a 1-0 lead. Then, when Ahn Kwon-soo singled to left, he stole third base and crossed home plate to score.
Yoo Kang-nam’s performance continued. In the top of the eighth inning, with Lotte leading 6-0 and the bases loaded, he produced another double off of reliever Kim Jun-hyung, marking the first time since the start of the season that he had two or more long balls in a game스포츠토토. It was a step toward regaining his batting average and on-base percentage, which have been lower than usual this season.
A steady pitching lead also helped Lotte win the game. Yoo Kang-nam pitched a six-hit shutout of starter Charlie Barnes, then combined with Kim Jin-wook in the bottom of the seventh to hold Kiwoom scoreless. He did his job before being pulled after a double in the top of the eighth.
“Even though they scored in the ninth inning, I’m satisfied with the win because I did a good job of keeping Kiwoom’s batting lineup scoreless until the eighth inning,” Yoo said after the game. “My bat hasn’t been working well lately, but I decided to focus more on the catching side of the game, and I’m playing as if the bat is a bonus.”
Regarding his game-winning at-bat in the top of the seventh inning, he said, “I’ve been regretting my at-bats lately, and I wasn’t satisfied. “I swung with the feeling that I was trying to put the hitting point in front of the plate as much as possible,” he said. “I was thinking of hitting it the moment the pitcher threw it, but the previous at-bats were all strikes, so I felt a little pressure, but I said, ‘I don’t know,’ and it turned out to be a good result.
She also expressed pride in her team’s recent performance and mound stability. Lotte has a team ERA of 3.95 heading into today’s game, which ranks seventh out of 10 clubs. The team’s ERA was shaky through April with a 4.75 ERA, but the pitchers have been in great form this month, and the team has been able to compete with any team.
Yoo Kang-nam said, “The players are playing as a team and playing every game. Even our captain, Ahn Chi-hong, had a meeting recently when we struggled against Hanwha in Daejeon and emphasized team batting,” he said, adding, “The juniors have also recognized this and are playing to it, so I think the team is on a good path.”