Kim Ji-chan pays it forward with a three-run homer in the first inning

“Give me some money for food”… Buying Wontaein eel was worth it!

“(Won) Tae-in told his brother to pay for the food…”

The Samsung Lions continued their winning streak with a blowout. The Samsung Lions pulled off a come-from-behind 8-1 victory over the Lotte Giants in the KBO regular season at Sajik Stadium in Busan on Monday.

The win snapped an eight-game losing streak after an opening two-game winning streak and a three-game winning streak. It improved to 5-8 on the season.

Samsung got on the board first in the first inning off starter Won Tae-in, but held him scoreless until the sixth inning. The offense was unable to capitalize until the fifth inning. However, they responded in the sixth inning. With runners on first and second with one out in the sixth, Kim Ji-chan, who pinch-hit for Gong Min-kyu, took a 143-kilometer fastball from Lotte starter Na Kyun-ahn and blasted a pinch-hit three-run home run over the Sajik Monster in right field.

Samsung then capitalized on the momentum and scored on a Kim Heon-gon’s two-run shot to center. Three more runs in the ninth completed the comeback win. After his pinch-hit triple, Kim went 3-for-4 with a bunt single in the eighth inning and a single to right in the ninth.

After the game, Kim said, “I think everyone hit well because I went out there and hit a home run. I think it means more that the team won,” he said, adding, “I’m not a big home run hitter, and I remember thinking that I only hit one a year, but to come out in such an important situation and do what I thought I would do at the plate, I think it worked out. I thought, ‘Let’s not miss the fastball,’ and it came out as I thought it would, so I think the timing was right,” he said of the home run.

As Kim said, it was his first home run in about a year. It had been 332 days since his last home run on May 13, 2023, against LG Electronics in Daegu. His previous three home runs came in hitter-friendly ballparks, such as Munhak and Daegu. However, on this day, he hit a home run at Sajik Stadium, which is difficult to hit. It went over the 6-meter Sajik Monster.

“I was running and saying, ‘Go over,’ but the fence here is 토토 high, so I thought it might not go over, but the ball didn’t go back into the ground, so I thought it went over,” Kim said, recalling the moment of his home run.

Kim’s home run surprised Won Tae-woo, the starting pitcher of the day, who said, “The team was in good shape, so I had faith that the batters would hit it if I just held on a little bit,” but he also said, “I didn’t expect Kim to hit a home run, but it felt so good.”

In fact, Kim’s home run has a backstory. “Actually, (Won) Tae-in bought me eel on my brother’s day off,” Kim said. Tae-in jokingly said, ‘Now you can pay for your meals,’ and I remembered that after I hit the home run. I think Tae-in had fun talking about it with his brother,” he laughed. In the end, Kim Ji-chan’s home run was enough to give Won Tae-in his first win of the season. Kim Ji-chan got his money’s worth.

Kim Ji-chan hit his first home run in a long time, and it gave Wontain their first win of the season. A meal of eels made everyone smile.

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