In their first head-to-head showdown in Major League Baseball, Los Angeles Dodgers' South Korean starter Ryu Hyun-jin came out on top against Pittsburgh Pirates' third baseman Kang Jung-ho in LA on Friday.
Kang was 1-for-3 with a single and a strikeout against his friend at Dodger Stadium, as Ryu picked up his third win of 2019 in a 6-2 win.
These two 32-year-olds were All-Stars in the Korea Baseball Organization before they took their talents to the United States.
In December 2012, Ryu became the first player to jump from the KBO to Major League Baseball by signing a six-year deal with the Dodgers.
Then in January 2015, Kang became the first position player to make that leap from South Korea to the majors when he joined the Pirates on a four-year contract.
Ryu threw him a cutter and Kang lined it sharply to left field for his first hit against the left-hander.
Ryu pitched seven innings before turning things over to the bullpen. Kang ended up going 1-for-4 for the game.
Ryu, who held the Pirates to two runs in seven innings with 10 strikeouts, improved to 3-1 and lowered his ERA from 3.01 to 2.96.
Kang is now batting .176 with four home runs and eight RBIs.
During their KBO careers, Ryu also had Kang's number, limiting him to 5-for-30 with a home run. That lone homer came on Oct. 4, 2012, in Ryu's final KBO start before signing with the Dodgers.
This three-game series is the first of two between the Dodgers and the Pirates in 2019. The next three-game set between them will be in Pittsburgh from May 24-26. (Yonhap)