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Welcome to Saturday Night Sports.
San Diego’s Kim Ha-seong and Choi Ji-man became just the second Korean major leaguers to start together, and they did it in style.
Kim also set a new record for the most stolen bases by a Korean player in a season.
Park Jae-woong reported.
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Kim Ha-seong and Choi Ji-man made the second joint start in Korean major league history.
They were the center of attention from local reporters before the game.
[Choi Ji-Man/San Diego]
“Even if we don’t have a close relationship, we got along quickly because we are overseas and we are major league players, so we didn’t care about that and got along quickly. I don’t have this!”
First up was Kim Ha-seong, who has been in peak hitting form lately.
In the first inning, he stretched his hitting streak to 10 games with a technical hit.
He then promptly stole second base, making a deft play at the plate that left his shoulder just short of the tag.
With his 23rd stolen base of the season, which was upheld by the Dodgers’ video review, Kim set a new record for most stolen bases in a season by a Korean player, surpassing Shin-Soo Choo’s 22.
With an RBI single in the third inning, Kim reached triple digits for the season and added another stolen base with a helmet-ripping sprint.
Choi made his San Diego debut to a rousing reception from the home fans,
“Ji-Man Choi, Ji-Man Choi!”
with his trademark sharp leadoff hit.
After leading off the fourth inning with a walk, he scored when the opposing catcher dropped the ball and shared a high-five with Kim Ha-seong, who was at the plate.
In the sixth inning, Choi drew a walk and scored, and once again, he and Kim celebrated.
Despite the Korean duo’s heroics, San Diego suffered a heartbreaking loss due to a lack of late-game heart.
Leading 3-2, they gave up five runs in the eighth and three in the ninth, and although Soto rallied in the final at-bat, they were unable to turn the game around.
I’m Jae Woong Park for MBC News.