Cardinals' Oh Seung-hwan barely avoids first major league loss
Janice Hong, June 30, 2016, 9:44 a.m.
Oh Seung-hwan of the St. Louis Cardinals gave up an unearned run while committing an error in his latest relief appearance. The Korean right-hander barely avoided picking up his first major league loss in St. Louis on Wednesday (local time), after giving up a run and two walks in the top of the 10th inning against the Kansas City Royals.
Oh took the mound in the 10th with the score tied at 1-1. He walked the first batter, Cheslor Cuthbert, and settled down to strike out Brett Eibner.
With Jarrod Dyson at the plate, Oh's pickoff attempt to first missed the mark, allowing Cuthbert to move to third.
Oh then intentionally walked Dyson to set up a double play opportunity with men at the corners. Oh did his part by getting the next batter, Whit Merrifield, to hit a grounder to second, but Matt Carpenter made an error on the play as Cuthbert scored the go-ahead, unearned run.
Oh struck out Alcides Escobar and got Alex Gordon to pop out to first to prevent further damage.
Oh was in line for a loss, but Stephen Piscotty got him off the hook with a game-tying solo home run in the bottom of the 10th.
The Royals regained the lead in the top 12th and hung on to win 3-2.
Oh lowered his ERA from 1.62 to 1.58. This was Oh's second straight shaky outing against the Royals. On Tuesday, he got himself into a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the ninth, but wiggled out of it unscathed to preserve an 8-4 victory.
Former All-Star Trevor Rosenthal has been removed as the Cardinals' closer, and though Mike Matheny hasn't committed to one specific reliever, Oh, who has 355 career saves in Korea and Japan, is expected to get a bulk of opportunities.
Elsewhere in the majors, two Korean infielders went head-to-head in Seattle, with one enjoying a more productive day than the other.
The Pittsburgh Pirates' third baseman Kang Jung-ho went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored, as they beat the Seattle Mariners 8-1. Lee Dae-ho, Seattle first baseman serving as designated hitter in this one, was 0-for-3.
Kang also started a nifty 5-4-3 double play in the bottom of the first.
In New York, the Texas Rangers' outfielder Choo Shin-soo got two hits off the Yankees' ace Masahiro Tanaka, for his sixth multi-hit effort in 21 games.
The Rangers, though, blew a 7-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth to fall 9-7.