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Padres’ Kim Ha-seong hits 3-run home run against Reds

Posted May. 03, 2023 08:00,   

Updated May. 03, 2023 08:00


“Who can resist loving Kim Ha-seong?”

San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. (24) praised his Korean teammate Kim Ha-seong (28) after the home game on Tuesday. Kim, who started as the team’s seventh batter and second baseman, led the team to an 8-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds with four at-bats, two hits, three runs batted in, and two runs scored, including a game-winning three-run home run.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, with the team trailing 2-3, Kim hit a double as the leadoff batter and scored a run on Trent Grisham’s (27) subsequent double, tying the game. In the bottom of the fifth inning, with two outs and runners on first and second base, Kim hit a go-ahead home run over the left field fence against Cincinnati’s left-handed pitcher Alex Young (30). With this home run, Kim surpassed 100 RBIs in his MLB career, which had previously stood at 99.

As Kim blasted a game-changing homer, the crowd of 37,491 at Petco Park roared with excitement, chanting “Ha-seong King.” After the game, Kim came out of the dugout to thank the fans as his teammates cheered him on. “I’m grateful to the fans for always rooting for me every time I step up to the plate," Kim, who was named the game’s most valuable player (MVP), said in a TV interview. "They always give me strength.”

The game was significant as it marked Tatis Jr.’s return after serving an 80-game suspension for violating MLB’s drug policy. Although Tatis Jr. had come back to the roster on April 21, this was the first home game where he could greet the home fans. Tatis Jr. also showed a strong performance with three hits in five at-bats, but it couldn’t match Kim’s game-winning home run.

Bo-Mi Im bom@donga.com