Doosan Bears thank fans after the game.(Yonhap)
Starter Raul Alcantara tossed eight shutout innings for his league-leading 20th win, as the Doosan Bears blanked the Kiwoom Heroes 2-0 at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul to close out their Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) regular season on Friday.
Alcantara lost his perfect game bid with two outs in the sixth inning, while allowing just two hits and striking out five to finish the season at 20-2 with a 2.54 ERA.
The Bears scored a run in each of the first two innings, and Alcantara made that early advantage stand.
It was a game with major postseason implications for both clubs. They had already secured spots but the seeding was still up in the air. The Bears entered Friday in fifth place, and depending on results by the second-ranked KT Wiz and No. 3 LG Twins, the Bears could climb to as high as third place.
The Bears opened the game with three straight singles off Kiwoom starter Erick Jokisch, the third hit being Oh Jae-il's RBI single.
They doubled their lead in the second inning thanks to Oh Jae-won's RBI double. Kim Jae-ho scored all the way from first, as second baseman Addison Russell did a double pump before making his relay throw to home plate.
And that was more than enough for Alcantara, who got 11 groundouts in an efficiently dominant performance. Only three balls left the infield against Alcantara.
Alcantara was perfect through 5 2/3 innings. No. 9 hitter Huh Jung-heop broke the perfect bid with a single, but Alcantara retired the next batter to close out the sixth inning. He then pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings to keep the Bears in front.
Alcantara was pulled after allowing a leadoff single to Addison Russell in the top ninth, and closer Lee Young-ha slammed the door shut by retiring the next three batters. (Yonhap)