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KBO Roundup: Dixon Machado is a home run machine and we love it

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Dixon Machado continues his tour de force in the KBO while Warwick Saupold didn’t have the same opening day magic.

Baseball season resumes in South Korea without spectators Photo by Jong Hyun Kim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The first week of the 2020 KBO season is in the books, and what an opening week it was. Today’s edition of our roundup looks back on the past two days of action, taking advantage of a regular Monday bye-day that is much like a Sabbath day in the Korean league — no games are played, and even the media takes a breather.

While the Tigers only have four former players active in the KBO currently, a light-hitting shortstop prospect who has been anything but so far this season has been consistently making the headlines. Without further ado, here are the highlights from this past weekend.

May 9: Lions maul Tigers, Heroes escape Eagles

Kia Tigers 2, Samsung Lions 14

What started out as a competitive match ended up getting out of hand in the final half of the game, as Samsung exploded for 14 runs over the last four frames — including a 9-run eighth inning — to take the second of a three game set. The Tigers scored its only two runs in the third on a leadoff home run by catcher Baek Yong-hwan and a double by second baseman Kim Sun-bin, who scored on a single the following batter to build an early 2-0 lead. The Lions responded in the fifth with four runs to take control of the game and cruise to the blowout victory. Samsung starter Won Tae-in went five innings giving up two runs on six hits and three walks for the win, while starter Im Ki-young took the loss for Kia after giving up the aforementioned four runs and failing to get out of the fifth. Reliever Kim Hyun-joon was the bleeder, giving up 5 earned runs in 13 inning in that 9-run eighth.

Hanwha Eagles 3, Kiwoom Heroes 5

The second of the only two games played on Saturday was a much closer match, with the Heroes escaping the Eagles thanks to a three-run, two-out sixth inning rally which came after three-straight walks. Kiwoom’s starter Han Hyun-hee got the win throwing six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits, a walk and a home run, while striking out four. Hanwha reliever Kim Bum-soo took the loss after giving up an unearned run in the sixth; Jo Sang-woo got the save with a scoreless 15-pitch ninth frame. Eagles first baseman Song Kwang-min led the offensive charge going 1-3 with a solo home run, a hit-by-pitch and two runs scored.

Other results:

All other games canceled due to rain.

May 10: Giants shut out Wyverns, Saupold gets no-decision, Bears outrun Wiz

SK Wyverns 0, Lotte Giants 4

Well folks, this is Dixon Machado’s world and we are just living in it for the past week. The former Tigers infielder hit his third dinger of the season to tie for the KBO lead on Sunday in a winning effort against the Wyverns. Erstwhile MLB pitcher Dan Straily pitched seven innings of three-hit ball along with a whopping 11 strikeouts for the win, while Machado’s two-run shot in the bottom of the seventh sealed the victory. SK’s starter Kim Tae-hoon had a perfectly fine outing, earning the loss despite throwing six innings an allowing only two runs on two hits and three walks, along with three strikeouts. Right-handed reliever Seo Jin-yong served up the pitch that Machado hammered, resulting in the final score.

Hanwha Eagles 3, Kiwoom Heroes 6

Former Tiger Warwick Saupold didn’t fare quite as well in his second outing of the season, taking a no-decision in Hanwha’s loss to Kiwoom on Saturday. The Aussie righty lasted six innings, giving up three runs — two earned — on five hits and a walk, while striking out five. He failed to capitalize on an early lead provided by the Eagles, who took a 2-0 lead in the first off a two-run home run by right fielder Jared Hoying and added another in the third on some small-ball play. Saupold allowed the first three batters to reach base in the seventh, including a leadoff triple by catcher Lee Ji-young, knocking him out of the game and responsible for those runners crossing the plate. The loss, however, was saddled on reliever Ahn Young-myung who was unable to cleanup the former Tigers’ mess. Reliever Kim Dong-jun got the win with three scoreless innings in relief and Yang Hyun notched the save.

KT Wiz 12, Doosan Bears 13

Man alive, was this a game to behold — with a final score that more closely resembles a football tally rather than one from a baseball game, there was no shortage of action in this extra-inning affair on Sunday. Both starters struggled, as KT’s Kim Min only made it through four innings while giving up seven runs on 10 hits and a walk — including two home runs — and only striking out one. Doosan’s Lee Yong-chan was only slightly better, throwing six innings while giving up six runs on six hits and a walk along with a home run, though he did manage to strike out six. Reliever Lee Dae-eun took the loss after giving up a run in both the tenth and eleventh innings while Lee Hyun-seung got the win throwing 1 13 innings allowing only one walk. Doosan’s designated hitter José Miguel Fernández led the way on offense, going 4-6 with a double and a home run along with four RBIs.

Other results:

Kia Tigers 12, Samsung Lions 3

W: Yang Hyun-jong; L: Baek Jung-hyun

LG Twins 10, NC Dinos 8

W: Jung Woo-young; L: Kim Geon-tae; SV: Ko Woo-seok

Coming up:

Tuesday, May 12

Kia Tigers vs. Hanwha Eagles (5:30 a.m. ET)

KT Wiz vs. NC Dinos (5:30 a.m. ET)

Doosan Bears vs. Lotte Giants (5:30 a.m. ET)

SK Wyverns vs. LG Twins (5:30 a.m. ET)

Samsung Lions vs. Kiwoom Heroes (5:30 a.m. ET)

Wednesday, May 13

Kia Tigers vs. Hanwha Eagles (5:30 a.m. ET)

KT Wiz vs. NC Dinos (5:30 a.m. ET)

Doosan Bears vs. Lotte Giants (5:30 a.m. ET)

SK Wyverns vs. LG Twins (5:30 a.m. ET)

Samsung Lions vs. Kiwoom Heroes (5:30 a.m. ET)

You can watch all of the games live or on delay using the Twitch app. Click here a the link to the channel.