Kang swings hot pink bat on first Mother's Day
Pirates infielder homers, hits game-winning single in win over Cards
PITTSBURGH -- Jung Ho Kang continued to swing a hot bat for the Pirates in their 4-3 win over the Cardinals at PNC Park. The only difference Sunday was that Kang happened to be swinging a hot pink bat.
Nearly all of the black-and-gold Buccos were splashed with pink, as 17 players wore pink shoes and most sported pink undershirts and sweatbands.
And Kang, who went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and the game-winning single, was one of 11 Pirates players to use pink bats in their Mother's Day victory over the Cardinals, doing so to raise national awareness for breast cancer.
It's worth noting that there is no traditional Mother's Day celebration in South Korea, where Kang lived and played in the Korea Baseball Organization before signing with the Pirates this offseason. Instead, they celebrate Parents' Day on May 8.
But Kang's first Mother's Day was a memorable one. He immediately put his pink bat to use in the first inning, driving an 0-2 pitch from Cardinals lefty Tyler Lyons 404 feet into the left-field stands.
"Very rarely at this level mistakes are made, not a lot of them at 0-2," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "Got a ball up over the plate and put a beautiful swing on it."
Kang came up with another big swing in the seventh inning. After pinch-hitter Steve Lombardozzi drew a walk and moved to second on Josh Harrison's sacrifice bunt, Kang knocked an RBI single to left off reliever Mitch Harris to break a 3-3 tie.
Kang, growing more comfortable with each at-bat he takes, is now hitting .333/.377/.521 with nine RBIs on the year.
The Pirates held on to that one-run lead and took their second straight game against the Cardinals, snapping a four-game losing skid against their National League Central rivals.
"It's very meaningful that we won against the Cardinals, one of the best teams, two in a row in this series," Kang said through interpreter H.K. Kim. "Hope that we carry this on and all of the players are on the same page and moving forward with that."