‘7 inning no-hitter’ Cuevas laughs, 6 straight wins since returning! Kim Min-hyuk’s 8th inning single makes him smile… KT Doosan 1-0 new win and 3 straight wins.

William “The Returned Belly”토토사이트 Cuevas is the KT Wiz victory fairy once again. It was his sixth straight win this season and his eighth since October 2021. The former Doosan Bears teammate had a classic pitching battle with Raul Alcantara, but came out on top in the end.

KT earned a 1-0 victory over the visiting Doosan Bears in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League on Friday at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul behind William Cuevas, who pitched seven scoreless innings, and Kim Min-hyuk, who hit the winning run in the top of the eighth.

Third-place KT has won three straight games with 54 wins, 45 losses and two ties. Doosan, on the other hand, lost for the third straight time with 49 wins, 48 losses and one tie, once again pushing the 50-win mark to another day.
Doosan’s starting lineup is Jung Soo-bin (center field), Ahn Jae-seok (second base), Jose Rojas (left field), Yang Seok-hwan (first base), Kim Jae-hwan (designated hitter), Kim In-tae (right field), Park Jun-young (shortstop), Jang Seung-hyun (catcher), and Heo Kyung-min (third base). Raul Alcantara was the starting pitcher.

KT’s batting order was Kim Min-hyuk (right fielder), Lee Ho-yeon (second baseman), Hwang Jae-gyun (third baseman), Jang Sung-woo (catcher), Anthony Alford (left fielder), Kim Jun-tae (designated hitter), Oh Yoon-seok (first baseman), Kim Sang-soo (shortstop), and Bae Jeong-dae (center fielder). William Cuevas started against Alcantara.

The biggest story of the day was the battle of egos between Alcantara and Cuevas, who played together in KT in 2019. Alcantara, who won 20 games for Doosan in 2020, was back in a Doosan uniform this season and already had 10 wins (5 losses) in 21 games, solidifying his role as the team’s No. 1 starter with a 2.47 ERA.

Cuevas left the team early last season due to injury, but returned to his hometown club as a substitute this season and has transformed into a “win fairy” with five wins and a 3.54 ERA in nine games without a loss.

The two were a one-two punch for KT in 2019. Alcantara went 11-11 with a 4.01 ERA and Cuevas went 13-10 with a 3.62 ERA. KT only re-signed Cuevas after the season, but Doosan brought Alcantara back and turned him into a 20-win pitcher.

He’s only gotten stronger against KT, especially this season, where he hasn’t allowed a run in two games against them. KT manager Lee Kang-cheol said of Alcantara: “He throws too well against us. He throws through his teeth. You can’t say you didn’t catch him. It’s good that he went to Japan and made money,” and then said, “Even after 100 pitches, he said he threw more. I don’t know if he has a grudge,” he laughed.

Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop said, “Sometimes the changeup is overpowered compared to the fastball,” adding, “He’s been throwing a lot of innings and pitches, and it’s been hot, so he’s been resting and making adjustments for a few games. It will get better. He’s an ace, so I’m not worried.”

‘Good to see you, buddy’ Alcantara vs Cuevas: a classic pitching battle between former teammates
In the early 150s, Alcantara and Cuevas battled aggressively with fastballs and sharp splitters. The KT batting lineup was tight.

Cuevas also used elaborate pitches to keep the Doosan batters at bay, especially his “slurve,” a mix of slider and curveball.

Pitchers from both teams pitched flawlessly. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Doosan’s Jeong Soo-bin rattled Cuevas. He drove in a run with a bunt that traveled an incredible course. The next batter, Ahn Jae-seok, bunted for an easy out, but the league’s second-leading stolen base runner was overly conscious. A dropped throw allowed him to reach third base.

But he smiled at the defensive help. KT first baseman Oh Yoon-seok quickly scooped up Rojas’ one-bound ball. Jeong Soo-bin, a Junjok, was also out. The timing of the out was so perfect that even the video replay had to give it up.

With the pitchers on top of their game, the bats came alive. In the top of the fifth inning, Alford’s fly ball sailed toward the first base bullpen, but Doosan first baseman Yang Seok-hwan leaped and stretched his arm to catch the ball as it went into the bullpen, and in the bottom of the fifth inning, Kim Jae-hwan’s fastball to center field was caught by KT second baseman Lee Ho-yeon with a spectacular diving catch and then scattered the ball to first base to erase the hit.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, after Kim In-tae was hit by a pitch, manager Lee Kang-cheol made a surprise visit to the mound. The KT bullpen was empty. He didn’t have a pitcher in mind. Instead, it seemed to be an attempt to break up the tempo for Cuevas, who might be faltering.

Cuevas then used his underutilized changeup to strike out Park Jun-young and shortstop Kim Sang-soo caught Jang Seung-hyun’s deep grounder and threw him out at second base to end the inning with a run-scoring double play.

The two pitchers took the mound side by side in the seventh inning. However, they looked a bit shaky due to the increased pitch count. After giving up a hit, Alcantara made a near-acrobatic catch of a grounder to end the inning without allowing a run.

Cuevas gave up a walk in the top of the seventh inning after a full-count battle with Kim Jae-hwan. It was his first walk of the day, but he also gave up back-to-back walks to Kim In-Tae on full counts. Doosan brought in Kang Seung-ho to pinch-hit for Park Jun-young. Seung-ho Kang struggled, flinching at a slider that was called a strike after it skimmed his body, and eventually struck out on three slider-like pitches.

Alcantara threw 94 pitches in seven innings, allowing four hits and no walks with six strikeouts, while Cuevas pitched seven innings of 100 pitches, allowing two hits and no walks with seven strikeouts.

Doosan brought in sidearm Park Chi-kook to replace Alcantara in the top of the eighth. In the second inning, Bae Jae-dae singled to right and Kim In-tae’s throwing error put runners on second and third.

The Doosan coaching staff took the mound, but there was no pitching change. They could have utilized left-hander Lee Byung-hun against lefties, but Doosan pushed Park Chi-kook.

It made sense, as sidearm pitchers are typically weak against lefties, but Park hadn’t done too badly against lefties this season with a .255 batting average, while Kim Min-hyuk had been mediocre against submarine pitchers with a .276 batting average, but was extremely strong against lefties with a .392 batting average.

However, the results were painful. Kim Min-hyuk hit a fly ball to center field, and with the game tied at one, Jung Soo-bin tried to make a play, but the ball sailed behind him. The runner on second had plenty of time to get home, and Min-hyuk took advantage of the gap and sprinted across the plate. He raced past second base to third base and raced home. Doosan’s relay play was clean, and no runs were scored. 1-0 KT lead.

KT sent Park Young-hyun, the No. 1 starter, to the mound. Second baseman Park Kyung-soo and right fielder Song Min-seop also entered the game. After getting Jang Seung-hyun to fly out to center field, Park retired Heo Kyung-min and Jung Soo-bin on infield grounders to preserve the lead.

In the ninth inning, closer Kim Jae-yoon took the mound. After getting Ahn Jae-seok to ground out and Rojas to fly out to first base, Kim got Yang Seok-hwan to fly out to center field to end the game.

Cuevas picked up the win to extend his winning streak to six games without a loss in 10. Young-hyun Park remained the league leader with 22 saves (3-3, 2-2), while Jae-yoon Kim moved into a tie for third place with his 20th save (3-2). It was also the fourth consecutive season that Kim has recorded 20 saves. It is the sixth most in KBO history.

After the game, KT manager Lee Kang-cheol said, “Cuevas really pitched his best game. He gave us a chance to win the game.”

“I played against my best friend and it was a fun game, and after the game, I texted Alcantara to say that I pitched very well,” Cuevas said, “I’m very honored to have played such a good game with Alcantara.”

“I don’t know exactly how I’m feeling, but I’m feeling better towards the end of the season than I did at the beginning of the season,” he said. “I’m feeling better as the season goes on, so I’m playing well in August. I want to keep getting better and better. I’m very happy right now, but it would be great if I could do even better.”

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