Orioles’ Kim Hyun-soo records first two-hit game

March 16, 2016
Kim Hyun-soo remained hitless after six at-bats. (Yonhap)

Orioles’ Kim Hyun-soo has hit .385 (5 for 13) over last five games, but still does not have an extra-base hit.

By The Korea Times Los Angeles staff

The good news is that Baltimore Orioles’ Korean outfielder Kim Hyun-soo recorded his first two-hit game of the spring Wednesday. The bad news is that they were both infield hits.

Kim started as the left fielder and hit sixth in the batting order against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a preseason game in Sarasota, Florida, and went 2 for 3 with a run-batted-in (RBI). His first two-hit performance made his spring batting average jump from .097 to .147 (5 for 34).

But that doesn’t tell the whole story as neither of the hits were all that well struck. As a matter of fact, four of his five hits so far have been infield jobs, making it difficult for one to argue that he’s hitting the ball with authority but just not finding any holes.

Kim has yet to produce an extra-base hit.

Still, Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter said after the game, ”Kim had his best at-bats of the spring.”

In his first at-bat in the second inning, with one out and a runner on first, Kim hit a force play grounder up the middle. This ball was actually pretty well struck.

In the fifth, with the Orioles down 3-0, Kim got on base with an infield single, a blooping kind off the glove of leaping shortstop Jordy mercer and scored on Jonathon Schoop’s game-tying three-run blast.

Kim added a hit in the sixth. Opposing teams continue to stack the defense to the right against Kim, and the ball he hit inside out, bounced off the third baseman’s glove to become his second hit of the game.  

The Orioles saw another three-run home run from Christian Walker as they went on to win 9-3. There’s already some speculation that the Orioles are preparing use Walker in left, should Kim continue to be less than impressive.

“I’ve had enough people tell me that this isn’t him, that he just doesn’t seem to be the same guy [he was in Korea],” Orioles manager Buck Showalter was quoted as saying after Tuesday’s game. “I don’t know if it’s the better velocity, the better pitching …”