San Diego Padres outfielder Ha-Sung Kim (28) had a big day at the plate, but it wasn’t enough in his team’s loss.
Kim batted 1-for-2 in the leadoff spot against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Tuesday, going 1-for-3 with a home run, a walk, a run scored, and a stolen base. His season batting average remained at .288.
Kim’s footwork shined in the first inning. Leading off the inning, Kim drew a walk against Seattle starter Emerson Hancock. After stealing first base, he boldly stole second base off of Fernando Tatis Jr. for his 25th stolen base of the season.
The steal was just the beginning. After Tatis Jr. struck out and Juan Soto came to bat, Kim stole third base off Hancock, who was making his major league debut that day. The steal was so perfectly timed that the catcher couldn’t even attempt a throw to third base.바카라사이트
Kim led off the inning with a walk. Soto hit a grounder in front of the pitcher that was misplayed, but Kim raced home and Hancock opted to pick off the runner at first base instead of taking the home run. From the walk to his second consecutive stolen base to the run, it was all about Kim’s base running.
In the bottom of the second, Kim’s defense shined. When Seattle’s leadoff hitter Teoscar Hernandez hit a line drive that skimmed the side of the pitcher’s mound, Kim rushed to the plate and made a precise throw from an unsteady position. The ball was skewed toward the shortstop on second base, but Kim showed off his wide defensive range beyond the base.
Kim completed his multi-hit game in the top of the third inning in his second at-bat. With the bases loaded and two outs, Kim lined a single up the middle to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. He then stole second base once again to record his 27th stolen base of the season. It was the first time in his major league career that Kim had stolen three bases in a game. However, despite his efforts to put runners in scoring position, Kim was unable to capitalize on the extra base hit.
After Seattle tied the game 1-1 with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third, Kim struck out swinging in his third at-bat of the fifth and flied out to center field in the seventh. In a tightly contested pitcher’s duel, Seattle broke the tie in the bottom of the eighth with a two-run double by Carl Raleigh and RBI singles by Ty France and Cade Marlowe to make it 5-1.
San Diego made one last push in the top of the ninth, putting runners in scoring position with two outs. If No. 9 hitter Trent Grisham could have gotten on base, Kim’s fifth hit of the game could have come around, but Grisham struck out and the game ended in a 1-5 San Diego loss. Kim’s one-man show in the first inning was the only run San Diego would score on the day.
With three more stolen bases on the day and 27 on the season, Kim jumped into a tie for fourth place in the National League (NL) in stolen bases. He’s also tied for eighth in all of Major League Baseball, breaking into the top 10. He is already on pace to surpass Choo Shin-soo’s (SSG Rangers) record of 22 stolen bases set in 2010 for the most by a Korean major leaguer in a single season. If he adds six more steals, he will surpass Kazuo Matsui (32) in 2007 for the most steals in a season by an Asian infielder.
Meanwhile, Choi, who was batting seventh and designated hitter in the same game, went 1-for-1 with a walk and a strikeout before being replaced by Garrett Cooper in the top of the sixth inning. San Diego, which has lost four straight, is now 55-60 (.478 winning percentage) on the season and 4.5 games behind the NL wild-card cutoff Miami Marlins (60-56 (.517 winning percentage)). Riding a seven-game winning streak, Seattle is 62-52 (.544 winning percentage) and trails the American League wild-card cutoff Toronto Blue Jays (65-51 (.560 winning percentage) by two games.