As losing streak hits 13, Eagles aim to change luck

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As losing streak hits 13, Eagles aim to change luck

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The Hanwha Eagles walk off the field after losing to the LG Twins, 13-0, on Sunday in Daejeon, their 13th straight loss since the beginning of the season. The Eagles will seek to snap their losing streak when they host the eighth-place NC Dinos, beginning today. By Lee Ho-hyung

Ryu Hyun-jin has gotten off to a promising start in Major League Baseball, but his former team, the Hanwha Eagles, are sinking into an ever-deeper mire.

The Eagles suffered an 8-0 shutout loss to the LG Twins on Sunday as the Twins completed a three-game sweep in Daejeon.

That left the Daejeon-based franchise winless in 13 games, the longest opening winless streak in the history of the Korea Baseball Organization. The previous record was held by the Lotte Giants, which lost their first 12 games of the 2003 season.

Eagles starter Kim Hyuk-min surrendered six runs over three innings and his replacement, Ma Il-young, allowed two more runs over one and two-thirds? innings as the Eagles struggled at bat with only five hits in the game.

Woo Kyu-min (2-0) pitched a shutout? for the Twins, ?striking out seven.

The 13-game losing stretch was an apparent humiliation for Eagles manager Kim Euong-yong, who won the Korean Series 10 times as a manager. “We will get prepared well for the next game,” Kim said, before quickly departing Daejeon Hanbat Baseball Stadium after Sunday’s loss.

The Eagles hope to snap their winless streak ?when ?they host the ?eighth-place NC Dinos, beginning today, but it could prove no less challenging, given the new club’s improvement.

The Dinos? ended ?their seven-game winless streak with a 4-1 win over the Twins on Thursday, then added two more victories in a three-game home series in Changwon with the SK Wyverns.

The Dinos, who debuted as the ninth KBO club this season, have been hitting better lately, with sluggers Lee Ho-joon and Kwon Hee-dong hitting their first homers of the season against the Wyverns.

Further improvement is expected as Mo Chang-min, an infielder who went on the disabled list due to a hamstring injury on April 2, is scheduled to join the team this week.

Na Sung-bum, an outfielder rehabilitating from a hand injury, is also expected to return to the roster next month.

“Chang-min will come back next week and Sung-bum will also return soon, so I think we could hang in there until then,” Dinos manager Kim Kyung-moon said after Sunday’s victory.

The two-time defending champions Samsung Lions jumped to the top of the standings with a 15-4 rout of the Nexen Heroes in Seoul on Sunday, after beating the Seoul team by the same score on Saturday. The Daegu club combined for 19 hits on Sunday, including four hits by Cho Dong-chan.

The Lions (7-3), who are tied with the Kia Tigers.? will enter a two-game series with the seventh-place Wyverns (5-6) beginning today in a rematch of the 2012 Korean Series. The Lions will host their Gyeongsang rivals Giants for a three-game series beginning Friday.

The Giants dropped from first to fifth place after a four-game winless streak, including three games against the Doosan Bears in Seoul.

In the latest game against the Bears on Sunday, the Busan team overcame an early five-run deficit to tie the game at 6-6 through the ninth, but lost on Son Si-heon’s walk-off single in the 11th inning, 7-6.

The Giants drew with the Bears, 3-3, on Friday and lost, 7-2, on Saturday.

The Tigers will return from a three-game break today for a three-game series with the Twins.


By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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