Game 5 starters: SK’s Kim Kwang-hyun (left) and Lotte’s Shane Youman (Yonhap News)
BUSAN (Yonhap News) ― The SK Wyverns edged the Lotte Giants 2-1 in the Korea Baseball Organization’s second round of the playoffs Saturday, forcing a decisive Game 5.
At Sajik Stadium in Busan, SK’s starter Mario Santiago pitched six shutout innings and the bullpen held on for dear life as the Wyverns staved off elimination on the road.
The winner will face defending champion Samsung Lions in the Korea Series. The Lions, who won the league title last year, received a bye to the Korean Series by virtue of finishing first in the regular season.
The Wyverns, the KBO champs in 2007, 2008 and 2010, are going for their sixth consecutive Korean Series appearance.
The Giants, who last won the KBO title in 1992, are trying to make their first Korean Series in 13 years.
The fifth game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at Munhak Stadium in Incheon, the Wyverns’ home.
SK will start lefty Kim Kwang-hyun and Lotte will send out Shane Youman, also a southpaw. These two started the first game of this series last week and Kim emerged the winner.
Santiago, a right-hander from Puerto Rico, struck out six Giants and held them to just four hits to earn the victory in his first career KBO playoff start.
The Wyverns broke the scoreless deadlock in the top of the fifth, when Park Jae-sang smashed a double into the right field corner to drive in Jeong Keun-woo from first.
They added an insurance run in the seventh, as Jeong led off the inning with a double and later scored on a single by Choi Jeong.
The Giants’ cleanup Hong Sung-heun hit a solo home run off closer Jung Woo-ram with one out in the bottom of the ninth for the home side’s only run of the day.
Hwang Jae-gyun led off the bottom of the eighth with a single but was doubled up when pinch hitter Cho Sung-hwan hit a line drive to the shortstop.