Samsung Lions lose 4 in a row amid foreign slump

‘Top of the table farther away, mid-table closer’

The Samsung Lions, whose foreign players continue to struggle, clinched their second consecutive losing series this week amid a four-game losing streak.

In the second game of a three-game weekend series against the Kiwoom Heroes of the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League at the Gocheok Sky Dome on Monday afternoon, Samsung dropped the second game of a three-game weekend series, 3-10, behind a struggling batting lineup.

In a starters’ duel between foreign pitchers, Samsung was silenced by opposing starter Hurado, who struck out seven, while Samsung’s starting rotation was in stark contrast as they were shut down for eight runs in less than five innings.

After six innings of work, Hurado had 10 hits and two more walks and a hit by pitch, but the Samsung bats could only manage two runs in the top of the second inning.

Despite leading 11-9 in hits, Samsung lost its focus and suffered a seven-run defeat, its fourth straight loss and a growing sense of urgency as it closes the distance between itself and the fifth and sixth-place teams in the middle of the pack.

The underperformance of foreign players has been a major issue in Samsung’s slump.

After Reyes, a foreign pitcher, started the four-game losing streak with a seven-hit, five-run performance against SSG at home on the 5th, Samsung followed it up with a seven-hit, eight-run performance by Connor on the 8th, making both players the losing pitchers during the losing streak.

McKinnon, Samsung’s other foreign player, who bats second and plays first base, struggles at the plate, going 0-for-5 in three games during the four-game losing streak.

After seeming to come alive with a multi-hit and RBI performance in Game 7, McKinnon went silent again, and has now hit just four home runs, the fewest among all 10 clubs’ foreign batters, which is disappointing for a player who is supposed to be the 토토 team’s big hitter.

With a tired bullpen and a burdened center field, along with poor performances from foreign players, Samsung has lost three of four in June, falling below the five-win threshold for the month.

With Samsung still in fourth place despite the losing streak, the team is in urgent need of a turnaround, and if they drop the next nine games, it will be their first three-game sweep since their home-opening three-game series against SSG in late March.

Aside from the three-game series against SSG, Samsung hasn’t lost a series sweep this season, and hasn’t suffered a sweep on the road, except for two straight losses against Kiwoom and Lotte, which were rained out.

Looking to avoid a sweep in the three-game series against Gochuk, Samsung will start Lee Seung-hyun as they look to end their losing streak, while their opponents Kiwoom will start Heisus as they look to take sole possession of first place.

Samsung has struggled of late, giving up six earned runs in the first two of their last three games, but they’ll be counting on Lee Seung-hyun, who bounced back with a six-inning, one-run performance against SSG on April 4.

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