Lions take solo lead after sweeping Twins over weekend
The Samsung Lions have taken the lead in the KBO for the first time since 2015, snapping the five year slide that ended nearly two decades of dominance for the Daegu club.
The Lions originally took first on Wednesday last week, 2,031 days since they gave it up on Oct. 6, 2015. They briefly slipped back down to second on Thursday, but regained the lead on Friday and held on throughout the weekend.
The Lions shared the top spot with the LG Twins going into the weekend series, but then swept the Seoul club over the weekend to take a decisive lead.
Samsung took a comfortable 4-0 win on Friday, followed up with a big 8-2 win on Saturday before edging past LG with a 6-4 win on Sunday. The sweep knocked LG down to third place, tied with the Doosan Bears and SSG Landers, while the Lions and second-place KT Wiz have a bit of breathing room at the top of the table.
Both the Wiz and the Hanwha Eagles also picked up sweeps over the weekend.
The Wiz, who started the weekend at third, swept the Kia Tigers, who fell from third to sixth, in three decisive games — 15-3, 3-0, 9-2. The Tigers are struggling at bat this season, trailing the league in home runs, with only five for the whole team compared to the NC Dino's table-topping 42, and coming second-last in RBIs, with 95 compared to KT's 139.
The Eagles sweep came as a bit of a surprise, as the Daejeon club entered the weekend in last place while the Lotte Giants were at eighth. The Eagles relied on a solid offense in their wins, scoring 29 runs in the series — 11-7, 11-3, 5-4.
The Eagles have now risen to eighth as the Giants drop to tenth.
The Bears and Kiwoom Heroes both won their series over the weekend with two games to one.
The Bears beat the Landers 9-4 on Friday, before losing 5-2 on Saturday and winning 8-5 on Sunday. Doosan entered the weekend in sixth while the Landers were tied for third. Both clubs are now tied for third.
The Heroes, who have been struggling this season, started the weekend in ninth place after climbing out of tenth a few days earlier. The west Seoul club beat NC 4-3 on Friday and 13-9 on Saturday, before losing 5-0 on Sunday. After the weekend, Kiwoom remain in ninth place and NC remain in sixth.
The KBO has canceled all five games scheduled for Tuesday to give players included on the preliminary entry for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics time to recover after receiving their Covid-19 vaccines.
BY JIM BULLEY [firstname.lastname@example.org]