The Lotte Giants are mired in a three-game losing streak amid a batting slump. For the second straight game, the starting pitchers did their job, but were left with empty bases.
Lotte fell 2-3 in the eighth game of the season against the KT Wiz of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on Sunday. They dropped the three-game midweek series after falling to 1-4 the day before.
Charlie Barnes started the game and pitched seven innings of six-hit ball, allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. Barnes was efficient, mixing in a variety of pitches, including a fastball that topped out at 146 km/h, a slider, a changeup, and a two-seam fastball.
However, the Lotte bats could only muster five hits against the KT mound. Except for one run in the fourth inning on an infield single by Jeon Jun-woo with runners on first and third, and one run in the eighth inning on an RBI single by Kim Min-seok with runners on first and second, the offense was unable to generate much offense.
In the bottom of the ninth, with the bases loaded and two outs, Yoo Kang-nam was thrown out at home on an infield grounder. Trailing 2-3 in the bottom of the 10th inning, Park Seung-wook, Hwang Sung-bin, and Kim Min-seok were left stranded.
While the youngest player, Kim Min-seok, went 2-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored, and the main shortstop, Noh Jin-hyuk, went 2-for-4, the cleanup trio of Jeon Jun-woo, Rex, and Jeon Jun-woo were silent with four hits apiece.
Lotte’s bats didn’t explode in the sixth game either, despite starter Park Se-woong’s six innings of two-run ball. With slumping Han Dong-hee removed from the first team roster on May 5 and outfielder Ahn Kwon-soo sidelined for surgery, the offense has been significantly weakened this month. 메이저놀이터
Even Rex, who returned from a knee injury, hasn’t quite gotten back to full strength. It was disappointing for Lotte that he struck out with runners on first and second in the bottom of the fourth inning with a 1-0 lead. It was also a setback for the best player in the lineup, Jeon Jun-woo, who went 0-for-4 for the second straight game.
Lotte is cruising in third place, but if the bats don’t come alive, they’re going to struggle in June. For now, they need their cold bats to wake up in order to end their eight-game losing streak.