Kiwoom Heroes foreign pitcher Ariel Furado (27) broke his personal four-game losing streak.

Hurado started the home game against the KIA Tigers of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at the Gocheok Sky Dome on 13 May and pitched six innings of three-hit ball with one walk and four strikeouts to lead his team to a 1-0 victory. It was Hurado’s first personal victory in 41 days since he allowed one run in eight innings against the Daegu Samsung Lions on 3 May. He had been consistently solid in the month of May, posting a 2.81 ERA, but had been unable to find the win column, but he rode his luck to snap a four-game losing streak and pick up his fourth win of the season (7-0). 안전놀이터

Furado continued his efficient pitching until the third inning. In particular, he kept the KIA batting order in check and minimised the risk of a run. He allowed two hits apiece to KIA table-setters Ryu Ji-hyuk and Choi Won-jun, but did not allow a single hit to Socrates Brito at No. 3, Choi Hyung-woo at No. 4, or Kim Sun-bin at No. 5. The KIA clean-up trio was a combined 0-for-4 on the day.

Furado induced ground balls with runners in scoring position to keep KIA’s offence ineffective. The KIA bats didn’t reach second base until the sixth inning with Furado on the mound.

Furado utilised a variety of his pitches on the day. His fastball topped out at 149 kilometres per hour and he utilised five different pitches: a curveball, change-up, two-seam fastball, cutter and slurve. By the sixth inning, he had thrown 93 pitches for a clean quality start (QS – six or more innings of three earned runs or less in a start).

Even at the end of the game, Hurado was not assured of escaping the sweep and adding another win. The team’s bats provided just one run in the first inning, a single by Edison Russell. However, the bullpen came to the rescue in the seventh inning to preserve the win for the team and the Furados. Kim Sung-jin (0.2 innings), Yang Hyun (0.1 innings), Kim Jae-woong and Lim Chang-min (over 1 inning) combined for the final three scoreless innings.

Ki has now won three straight games, and with his contribution to the team’s winning streak, Hurado has lowered his season ERA from 3.10 to 2.86. With Eric Yokishi sidelined for the foreseeable future with an adductor muscle injury, Kiwoom can breathe a sigh of relief as Furado continues to pitch well. In effect, Furado is the team’s No. 2 starter behind Ahn Woo-jin. With Furado’s arrival, the Hero Legion will be able to attempt a ‘generational change of ace’.

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