YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) – Former Big League outfielder Hyun Soo Kim met a two-time homer from Pittsburgh’s front office assistant Jeremy Bleich and scored the finals in South Korea’s 11-1 victory over Israel on Monday at the Olympic Games.
Soo, who played for Baltimore and Philadelphia in 2016, homered against Bleich to crown a fifth inning with seven runs. Bleich retired in 2019 and is preparing advance scouting reports for the pirates.
Soo scored his second double of the game with two outs in seventh from 42-year-old right-handed Shlomo Lipetz, who will return to his main job at New York City Winery after the Olympics. Soo faced Hye-seong Kim’s single, making this the first game of the tournament to be abandoned after an Olympic loss rule.
South Korea (3-1), who had 18 goals, will play against the USA or Japan on Wednesday for a place in the gold medal game. South Korea defeated Israel 6-5 in 10 innings in the opener in Japan.
Israel (1-3) will play an elimination match against the Dominican Republic (1-2) on Tuesday.
Major League Baseball doesn’t allow 40-person squad players to go to the Olympics, and many teams block top candidates.
Ji-hwan Oh hit a double homer in the second half when South Korea took a 3-0 lead. Baek-ho Kang had four hits.
Starter Min-woo Kim allowed two hits in 4 1/3 goalless innings. He went a batter in fifth and Won-joon Choi went two batter and hit one, forcing a run with a bases-loaded walk to Danny Valencia, who cut the lead to 3-1.
Sang-woo Cho (1-0) pulled Ryan Lavarnway back to the pitcher on an inning-ended hump liner.
South Korea opened the game in the lower half against Chicago Cubs lower division player Alex Katz, who was indicted in a third of an inning with six runs – five earned.
Joey Wagman (0-2), who was fired from the Oakland farm system in 2018, faced 22 thugs, giving up three runs, 10 hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings.
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