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KBO Roundup: Cuevas hit hard while Machado starts to defrost

Two former Tigers active in Korea saw some playing time this weekend, though neither was particularly impressive.

KIA Tigers v SK Wyverns Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images

The third week of the 2020 KBO season is now officially in the books, and so far the NC Dinos and their 14-3 record continue to hold a three-game lead over the rest of the league, with the LG Twins sitting in second at 11-6. The Doosan Bears place third so far with a 10-7 record.

While home runs and bat flips have been the focus of attention, one of the other zany features of the Korean league are the wild swings many batters take, often resulting in hilarious pirouettes.

While some of these swings are ridiculously entertaining, others are absolutely brutal — even back-breaking at times.

Speaking of bad swings, over the past couple of days former Tigers infielder Dixon Machado has started to show some signs of life at the plate after a dismal 1-14 slump last week. He went 1-3 with a run scored on both Saturday and Sunday, though he batted ninth on both days — a drop from his previous home in the six-slot.

Here is how the rest of the league fared last weekend.

May 23: Rucinski throws gem, shuts out Eagles

Hanwha Eagles 0, NC Dinos 3

NC’s Drew Rucinski threw a gem on Saturday, going eight shutout innings giving up just four hits and a walk while striking out nine on 109 pitches for the victory. The 31-year-old right-hander now sports three wins during the 2020 campaign with a 2.49 ERA and 1.26 WHIP over 25⅓ innings pitched in his second year overseas; Saturday’s start was the best in his Korean career so far. Closer Won Jong-hyun allowed two baserunners in the ninth but ultimately sealed the deal for his sixth save of the season.

On the mound for Hanwha was Kim Min-woo, who has had a solid season so far but did not stand a chance in this matchup with Rucinski. He labored through 5⅔ innings giving up only two runs despite allowing seven hits and three walks, though he did also strike out six. A run scored in the first on a single by Na Sung-bum — who was the offensive star of the game, going 3-4 with the aforementioned RBI — was the difference-maker in this game.

Other results:

KT Wiz 6, LG Twins 2

W: Kim Min; L: Cha Woo-chan

Kia Tigers 8, SK Wyverns 3

W: Aaron Brooks; L: Kim Tae-hoon

Doosan Bears 10, Samsung Lions 6

W: Raul Alcantara; L: Kim Dae-woo

Kiwoom Heroes 12, Lotte Giants 4

W: Eric Jokisch; L: Lee In-bok

May 24: Cuevas stumbles, Twins win on walk-off grand slam

KT Wiz 7, LG Twins 9

This game got off to a hot start, with both teams putting up four runs by the end of the second frame en route to a walk-off grand slam finish for the home team Twins. With that said, it is obvious that neither starter fared well in this one, though to both of their credit neither allowed another run after inning No. 2 to earn the no-decision. Former Detroit Tiger William Cuevas took the hill for KT, giving up four earned run on seven hits, three walks and a hit batter while striking out five over seven innings, lasting 105 pitches. LG’s starter Lim Chan-gyu lasted six, also giving up four earned runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out eight on 95 pitches for a slightly more impressive outing than the former.

The offensive player of this game was former minor leaguer Roberto Ramos, who hit the walk-off grand slam down two runs in the bottom of the ninth to grab the win. It was his only hit of the day from the designated hitter slot in five at-bats, but he stepped up and performed when it counted.


For those of you who enjoy some humor at the expense of major league umpire “Country” Joe West, look no further.

Other results:

Hanwha Eagles 5, NC Dinos 10

W: Mike Wright; L: Kim Bum-soo

Kia Tigers 3, SK Wyverns 4

W: Jung Young-il; L: Ko Young-chang

Doosan Bears 0, Samsung Lions 13

W: David Buchanan; L: Lee Young-ha

Kiwoom Heroes 0, Lotte Giants 2

W: Seo Jun-won; L: Choi Won-tae; SV: Kim Won-joong

Coming up:

Tuesday, May 26

Kia Tigers vs. KT Wiz (5:30 a.m. ET)

LG Twins vs. Hanwha Eagles (5:30 a.m. ET)

SK Wyverns Park vs. Doosan Bears (5:30 a.m. ET)

Samsung Lions vs. Lotte Giants (5:30 a.m. ET)

Kiwoom Heroes vs. NC Dinos (5:30 a.m. ET)

Wednesday, May 27

Kia Tigers vs. KT Wiz (5:30 a.m. ET)

LG Twins vs. Hanwha Eagles (5:30 a.m. ET)

SK Wyverns vs. Doosan Bears (5:30 a.m. ET)

Samsung Lions vs. Lotte Giants (5:30 a.m. ET)

Kiwoom Heroes vs. NC Dinos (5:30 a.m. ET)

KBO Standings: May 25

1 NC Dinos 14 3 0 0.824 0 2W
2 LG Twins 11 6 0 0.647 3 1W
3 Doosan Bears 10 7 0 0.588 4 1L
4 Kiwoom Heroes 10 8 0 0.556 4.5 1L
4 Kia Tigers 10 8 0 0.556 4.5 1L
6 Lotte Giants 9 8 0 0.529 5 1W
7 KT Wiz 7 10 0 0.412 7 1L
8 Hanwha Eagles 7 11 0 0.389 7.5 2L
9 Samsung Lions 6 12 0 0.333 8.5 1W
10 SK Wyverns 3 14 0 0.176 11 1W
Source: MyKBOStats

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