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KBO Roundup: Saupold stumbles while Machado continues power surge

One former Tiger continues to shine in Korea while another suffered from lack of run support in a shaky outing this weekend.

SK Wyverns v Hanwha Eagles - KBO League Opening Game Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

The second week of the Korean Baseball Organization’s schedule is officially in the books, and so far the NC Dinos have grabbed a three-game lead in the 10-team league, jumping out to a sizzling 10-1 start. Meanwhile, three teams sit in second place with 7-4 records, including former Tiger Dixon Machado’s Lotte Giants.

Speaking of whom, so far this season Machado is off to a torrid start. While he is only batting .275, he has put up a .995 OPS including a scorching .625 slugging percentage over 11 games and currently sits in a six-way tie for third in the league with four home runs. On Saturday, he went 1-3 with a walk and a run scored while on Sunday he hit a solo dinger while going 1-5 on the day. There will be more on the erstwhile Tigers infielder below.

May 16: Saupold shaky in loss to the Giants

Lotte Giants 5, Hanwha Eagles 1

Since his opening day complete-game two-hit shutout, Warwick Saupold has regressed a bit over his past two starts with Saturday’s outing looking the roughest so far. Over seven innings, the Aussie hurler kept the damage minimal allowing only two runs on eight hits, a walk and two hit batters, striking out four. While a performance like that would often get a pitcher the win, Saupold was saddled with the loss as his team failed to get more than one runner across the plate. The bullpen was also a let-down in this match, allowing three more runs in the two remaining frames to put the game out of reach. Dixon Machado chipped in with his 1-3 effort and a run scored along with a nifty play on defense, while left fielder Jeon Jun-woo led the way on offense for Lotte with a 3-4 effort, including a ninth-inning double to go along with an RBI and a run scored.

Other results:

Doosan Bears 4, Kia Tigers 13

W: Yang Hyun-jong; L: Lee Yong-chan

Kiwoom Heroes 1, LG Twins 3

W: Casey Kelly; L: Jake Brigham; SV: Jung Woo-young

NC Dinos 2, SK Wyverns 1

W: Bae Jae-hwan; L: Kim Ju-on; SV: Won Jong-hyun

Samsung Lions 4, KT Wiz 10

W: Kim Min; L: Yoon Sung-hwan

May 17: Eagles defeat Giants in extra-inning balk-off

Lotte Giants 4, Hanwha Eagles 5

This game had one of the craziest finishes you’ll see anywhere, with the winning run crossing the plate with two outs in the 11th inning on a balk. But the game up until that point was a great one as well, with Hanwha starter Kim Min-woo tossing another gem in a no-decision effort, throwing seven innings of two-hit, one-run ball — which was scored on Machado’s forth home run of the year — while walking three and striking out six. Unfortunately, his bullpen could not hold the lead and allowed Hanwha to force extras, though in the end it worked out for the Eagles. On the other mound, Lotte’s Lee Seung-heon got tagged for three unearned runs over 2⅓ innings before turning it over the to bullpen, which valiantly kept the Giants in the game but ultimately came up short when reliever Kim Dae-woo balked in the winning run. Only Eagles left fielder Kim Moon-ho had more than one hit on the day for either team, going 2-4 with a run scored.


Preston Tucker has been absolutely on fire so far this season, grabbing a share of the league lead in home runs on Sunday with his towering shot over the right field wall and onto a Kia Sorento displayed on the berm. Not only did Tucker add to his remarkable season stats with that dinger, he also added another ride to his garage winning a free car for his efforts. Not too shabby for a weekend’s worth of work.

Other results:

NC Dinos 11, SK Wyverns 5

W: Drew Rucinski; L: Baek Seung-geon

Doosan Bears 6, Kia Tigers 4

W: Raul Alcantara; L: Aaron Brooks; SV: Ham Duk-joo

Samsung Lions 2, KT Wiz 9

W: Odrisamer Despaigne; L: Ben Lively

Kiwoom Heroes 9, LG Twins 4

W: Eric Jokisch; L: Cha Woo-chan

Coming up:

Tuesday, May 19

Hanwha Eagles vs. KT Wiz (5:30 a.m. ET)

LG Twins vs. Samsung Lions (5:30 a.m. ET)

Lotte Giants vs. Kia Tigers (5:30 a.m. ET)

NC Dinos vs. Doosan Bears (5:30 a.m. ET)

SK Wyverns vs. Kiwoom Heroes (5:30 a.m. ET)

Wednesday, May 20

Hanwha Eagles vs. KT Wiz (5:30 a.m. ET)

LG Twins vs. Samsung Lions (5:30 a.m. ET)

Lotte Giants vs. Kia Tigers (5:30 a.m. ET)

NC Dinos vs. Doosan Bears (5:30 a.m. ET)

SK Wyverns vs. Kiwoom Heroes (5:30 a.m. ET)

KBO Standings: May 18

1 NC Dinos 10 1 0 0.909 0 6W
2 Doosan Bears 7 4 0 0.636 3 1W
2 LG Twins 7 4 0 0.636 3 1L
2 Lotte Giants 7 4 0 0.636 3 1L
5 Kiwoom Heroes 7 5 0 0.583 3.5 1W
6 Kia Tigers 5 7 0 0.417 5.5 1L
6 Hanwha Eagles 5 7 0 0.417 5.5 1W
8 KT Wiz 4 7 0 0.364 6 3W
9 Samsung Lions 4 8 0 0.333 6.5 3L
10 SK Wyverns 1 10 0 0.091 9 9L
Source: MyKBOStats

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