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Pirates’ Bae Ji-hwan steals 3 bases with 3 hits

Posted April. 28, 2023 08:13,   

Updated April. 28, 2023 08:13


He hardly leaves any base unstolen. Bae Ji-hwan, the Korean second baseman of the Pittsburgh Pirates, ranked second in stolen bases in Major League Baseball (MLB), as he stole three bases and recorded three hits, one RBI, and two runs at four at-bats in a home game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday as the eighth batter. After striking out in his first plate appearance in the third inning, Bae hit a single in the fifth through seventh innings, stealing a base each time. This is his second three-hit game since his MLB debut following the game on April 8 and a first with three stolen bases.

If Bae maintains the current pace, he will likely finish the season with 65 stolen bases, nearly three times as many as the MLB record for most stolen bases by a Korean player set by Choo Shin-soo (SSG) with Cleveland in 2010. As the Pittsburgh Pirates aim to play “runnable baseball,” outperforming all 30 MLB teams in stolen bases (34) as of Thursday, it is unlikely that Bae’s fierce pace might slow down anytime soon.

“Bae needs to prove his multi-position abilities in defense as well as his mobility,” said Lee Chang-seop, a baseball commentator of SPOTV. The South Korean player has been playing not only as a second baseman but also as shortstop and center fielder this season, helping the team maintain its position at the top of the National League Central Division. The Pirates maintained their first-place position, outranking runners-up Milwaukee by one game, thanks to an 8-1 victory on Thursday.

Hong-Gu Kang windup@donga.com