Twins blast the Di­nos to start KBO play­offs

JoongAng Daily - - Sports - BY KIM BONG-MOON, KIM SIK bong­moon@joongang.co.kr

The LG Twins scored six runs in the first in­ning and never looked back as they ham­mered the NC Di­nos, 13-4, yes­ter­day in the first game of the 2014 Korea Base­ball Or­ga­ni­za­tion post­sea­son.

The win­ner of the best-of-five open­ing se­ries will ad­vance to the sec­ond round to play the Nexen He­roes for the right to face the Sam­sung Lions in the best-of-seven Korean Se­ries.

After their dis­as­trous start, the Di­nos got a run back on Na Sung-bum’s solo home run in the sec­ond in­ning, but the Twins added to their lead by scor­ing once in the third and fifth.

The at­mos­phere sud­denly changed as LG starter Ryu Je-guk was ejected after his 135-kilo­me­ter-per-hour (83.9mile-per-hour) fast­ball grazed the hel­met of bat­ter Mo Chang-min.

The Twins nailed down the vic­tory with five more runs in the sev­enth.

NC scored two more in the eighth and ninth, but it was too lit­tle, too late. The two teams play again tonight.

This year, the Daegu-based Lions are look­ing to win their fourth con­sec­u­tive Korean Se­ries ti­tle.

Stand­ing in their way will be the He­roes, who fin­ished the reg­u­lar sea­son in sec­ond place and have four of five MVP nom­i­nees.

Park Byung-ho led the league in home runs (52, the third most in KBO his­tory) and RBIs (124) for the third straight year. Park’s team­mate Kang Jung-ho hit his 40th homer in the last game of the sea­son.

Nexen’s Seo Geon-chang be­came the first KBO player to have 200 hits in a sea­son, fin­ish­ing with 201, and led the league in hit­ting with a .370 av­er­age. Pitcher Andy Van Hekken was the league’s only 20-game win­ner.

Dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, Nexen was 7-8-1 against Sam­sung.

The third-place Di­nos (5-10-1 against Sam­sung) made it to the post­sea­son in only their sec­ond year of ex­is­tence on the strength of their start­ing ro­ta­tion. In a game against Sam­sung on Tues­day, NC sent out Eric Hacker, Thad We­ber and Lee Jae-hak to pre­pare for the post­sea­son, and they held the Lions score­less un­til the sev­enth.

The LG Twins are play­ing in the post­sea­son for the sec­ond straight year after an ab­sence of 11 years. The team was 7-9 ver­sus Sam­sung dur­ing the sea­son. In May, the Twins ended Sam­sung’s streak of win­ning 144 con­sec­u­tive games when it had the lead after the sev­enth in­ning.

After join­ing the team mid-sea­son, LG Man­ager Yang Sang-moon vowed to strengthen the bullpen, which now con­tains Yoo Won-sang, Shin Jae­woong, Lee Dong-hyun and Bong Jung-keun.

[NEW­SIS]

LG’s Choi Gyeong-cheol high-fives coach Choi Tae-won after a three-run homer in the first yes­ter­day against the NC Di­nos at Masan Base­ball Sta­dium.

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