109 pitches → tying K → roar, back-to-back QS+ Outside pitcher’s mantra: “I want to pitch better.”

SSG Landers foreign pitcher Roenis Elias picked up his second win of the season.

Elias pitched seven innings of one-run ball against the Kia Tigers at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju on June 6 for a quality start-plus (7+ innings pitched, 3 earned runs or less). His total pitch count was 108. Elias, who took the loss in a seven-inning, three-run comeback against Samsung Electronics on Aug. 31, earned his second win of the season after taking over the mound in the bottom of the eighth inning with a 2-1 lead and the bullpen holding on to a one-run lead.

Elias relied heavily on his 150 mph fastball and 141 mph changeup on the day, mixing in a slider. A 135-kilometer changeup to leadoff hitter Park Chan-ho in the bottom of the fourth inning was caught on the high side of the plate and led to an unearned run, but Elias remained untroubled until the sixth inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, Elias took the mound and, after being tested for a foreign object in his glove at the request of the KIA bench, allowed back-to-back singles to tie the game. However, with runners on first and third, he threw home Byun Woo-hyuk’s grounder to prevent the tie and struck out Shin Beom-soo to end the inning.

“It was my first start away from home, so it was an unfamiliar environment, but I pitched with the idea of increasing the percentage of strikes, and it paid off,” Elias said after the game. “I was in trouble in the seventh inning, but I talked to the catcher about inducing ground balls, and it worked out the way I thought it would. We didn’t give up a run in the extra innings, so I was celebrating,” he added.

Elias said, “I’m happy to be able to contribute to the team’s victory, as many of my games are close. In my next game, I want to pitch better and minimize the number of runs I give up so I can feel comfortable coming off the mound.”


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