KIA Tigers’ Lee Yi-ri (21) has been a man of two faces this season. While he has been a force to be reckoned with, ranking fourth in strikeouts (68), he has also faltered as the league leader in walks per nine innings (7.48, over 40 innings).

The same was true for the Lotte Giants, whom Lee resigned from on the 4th, but he continued his dominance against Lotte.

KIA rode Lee’s five-inning no-hitter to a 6-0 win over Lotte that day.

In the race for the top spot, Lotte continues to make progress towards the top spot by defeating KIA in the last two or three days. The game was a sellout for the second straight day, with 22,190 fans in attendance at Sajik Stadium. Lee was not intimidated by the red-hot opposition, pitching five innings of two-hit ball with four walks and eight strikeouts.안전놀이터

In his rookie season in 2021 alone, Lee was winless in three games against Lotte with a 6.55 ERA. It was his worst ERA against nine teams. In their first meeting last year, on 12 April at home in Gwangju, Lee gave up five runs (four earned) on five hits in three innings.

However, in his next four appearances against The Lotte, he went 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA (4 earned runs in 26 innings). He followed up a strong performance against Lotte on 19 April (five and two-thirds innings of three-hit ball with eight strikeouts) with a no-decision today. Lee is now 4-0 with a 0.98 ERA in his last six starts against Lotte.

Once again, Lee got out of a jam with a strong outing. He gave up four hits, but struck out eight more.

After giving up a leadoff single to Hwang Sung-bin in the first inning, he struck out Yoon Dong-hee to put out the flames while Hwang failed to steal second base. Two batters later, he walked Jeon Jun-woo, but struck out Ahn Chi-hong. In the bottom of the fourth, Lee induced Han Dong-hee to fly out to centre field, but a throwing error by left fielder Ko Jong-wook put runners on first and third. Lee retired Noh Jin-hyuk on a three-pitch strikeout to end the inning.

Lee walked Yoo Kang-nam to lead off the fifth and Kim Min-seok to follow. With runners on first and second, Hwang Sung-bin laid down a sacrifice bunt to put runners on first and third. Lee struck out Lotte’s Yoon Dong-hee on an eight-pitch count with a 148-kilometre-per-hour fastball. She then struck out Jeon Jun-woo on a grounder to first base to end the day.

Lee threw 104 pitches (62 strikes) through the fifth inning. It was hard for him to stay on the mound after his second start of the week (5 innings, 1 run, 100 pitches against KT Wiz on 30 May). Fortunately, the team’s bats came alive in the top of the sixth inning, scoring six runs to earn their fifth win of the season. He lowered his ERA from 2.84 to 2.55 this season.

Lee was not able to go the distance, but he did pick up a valuable road win for a team that had lost two straight.

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