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12 April 2023, 11:05

Pirates' Bae Ji-hwan, Choi Ji-man become 1st Korean teammates to homer in same MLB game


SEOUL, 12 April (BelTA -Yonhap News). - Bae Ji-hwan and Choi Ji-man have made a piece of major league history for the Pittsburgh Pirates, becoming the first set of South Korean teammates to homer in the same game.

Bae blasted a three-run, walk-off home run off Houston Astros closer Ryan Pressly in the bottom of the ninth inning at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on Tuesday (local time), capping off a 7-4 victory for the Bucs after they'd blown a 4-2 lead in the top of the ninth.

In the sixth inning of the same game, Choi had homered off starter Cristian Javier, his second dinger in as many days after going six games without one.

Bae batted leadoff and played second base, while Choi batted third as the designated hitter. They are the first pair of Korean position players to be teammates in the big leagues.

Choi's home run broke a 2-2 tie and the Pirates built a 4-2 lead later in the sixth inning.

At full count, Choi got a 92.2 mph four-seam fastball at the top of the strike zone and drove it 418 feet into the seats in right field. The homer left Choi's bat at 110 mph at a launch angle of 27 degrees.

Choi had homered for the first time this season in Monday's game against the Astros. Choi doubled in the first inning before the home run in this one, collecting multiple hits in a game for the first time this year.

The Astros scored twice in the top ninth, forcing the Pirates to come to the plate in the bottom half of that frame.

And two singles set the stage for Bae's heroics. On a 2-2 count, Bae got a changeup on the inner part of the plate, and drilled it over the right-center field wall for his second homer of the year and his first career walk-off blast.

It was Bae's only hit in this game in five at-bats.

Bae is batting .242/.265/.485 in nine games with two homers, six RBIs and two steals this year. Choi has a .148/.148/.407 line with two homers and two RBIs but 12 strikeouts with zero walks.

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