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Kang Jung-ho homers twice in season debut for Pirates

Kang Jung-ho of the Pittsburgh Pirates homered twice in his season debut Friday (local time), punctuating a return from devastating knee injuries he suffered last fall.

Kang blasted a two-run shot to right field off Tyler Lyons of the St. Louis Cardinals in the top of the sixth at Busch Stadium, putting the Pirates up 3-0.

Pittsburgh Pirates' Kang Jung-ho watches his two-run home run during the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals May 6, in St. Louis. (Yonhap)
Pittsburgh Pirates' Kang Jung-ho watches his two-run home run during the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals May 6, in St. Louis. (Yonhap)
Then with the Pirates nursing a 3-2 lead in the top eighth, Kang smacked a solo shot to the left, this time off left-hander Kevin Siegrist, to give his club more breathing room.

The Pirates hung on to win 4-2 to move to 16-13, as Kang went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. The win snapped the Pirates' losing streak at four.

This is Kang's second career multihomer game: he'd also left the yard twice on Aug. 22 last year against the San Francisco Giants.

The South Korean batted sixth and played third base in his first appearance of the 2016 season. He'd spent the past seven months rehabbing from the leg injuries he sustained in a hard takeout slide by Chris Coghlan of the Chicago Cubs trying to break up a double play. The surgeon who performed the operation on Kang to repair a tibial plateau fracture and a torn lateral meniscus later likened the player's injuries to those sustained in a car accident.

Kang played 13 games with the Pirates' Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis and hit .150 there. (Yonhap)

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