Tue, Jul 29, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Hisanori takes Bulls by the horns in Taichung


The much anticipated three-game series between the league-leading Brother Elephants and the second-place Sinon Bulls in Taichung did not live up to its billing as all three games were decided by at least four runs.

Down by 1-1/2 games prior to the start of the series, the Bulls opened the homestand on Thursday night with a three-game sweep in mind, only to see it smothered by starting pitcher Yokota Hisanori in a 9-2 Elephants win.

Hisanori greeted the Bulls batters with all his pitches working to perfection through seven strong innings of play.

Other than yielding a solo blast to Cheng Chao-han (鄭兆行) in the second and an RBI-single to Cheng in the fourth, Hisanori was unhittable, allowing just three other hits while striking out nine.

Bulls right-hander Tsai Chung-nan (蔡仲南), in one of his worst outings of the season, gave up three runs in less than one inning of relief duty for the loss.

Offensively for the Elephants, the "Chen Huai-shan (陳懷山) hitting clinic" continued as the Elephants third baseman followed his 3-for-3 performance on the previous Sunday with a 3-for-5 effort in Thursday's series opener.

Chen is 9-for-14 with nine RBIs in the past four contests.

Game 2 of the series on Friday night proved the Elephants mortal as the Bulls hitters, led by all-star third baseman Chang Tai-shan's (張泰山) three-RBI performance, put up eight runs in an 8-3 win.

Bulls ace starter Jeff Andra extended his winning streak to 12 games as he remained perfect for the year. The southpaw from Kansas allowed just two runs on nine hits over eight innings.

The series finale took place on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in front of a crowd of over 10,000 as the Elephants sent veteran Jonathan Hurst in a matchup against Bulls' strikeout artist Osvaldo Martinez.

The Bulls quickly took a one-run lead after Chang Tai-shan's single up the middle in the bottom of the first drove in a run. The Elephants finally fought back with four runs of their own in the top of the sixth. Second baseman Huang Chung-yi (黃忠義) of the Bulls committed two rare but costly errors that directly led to two Elephants runs.

The Bulls would score one more run in the bottom of the seventh to make it 4-2. The Elephants knocked in two more runs in the ninth to win it 6-2.

Reliever Wu Jun-yi (吳俊億) of the Elephants continued his mastery against the Bulls as the side-armer ran his winning streak up to five against the Bulls, dating back to last season.

Elsewhere in the league, the red-hot Chinatrust Whales extended their winning streak to four games as they swept the struggling First Securities Agan 4-0 during their visit to Pingtung and Kaohsiung.

After winning the first two games earlier last week, the Whales beat the Agan in game 3 of the series by a score of 4-2.

Behind second baseman Lin Yueh-liang's (林岳亮) base-clearing double, the Whales took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third. They would later make it 4-0 in the sixth on right fielder Huang Kwei-yu's (黃貴裕) double down the third baseline.

Agan second baseman Chou Seng-yi (周森毅) finally hit an RBI single, staging a comeback with the bases loaded and no outs in the ninth against Whales closer Maximo Rosa.

The right-hander from the Dominican Republic would force home a run on a hit batsman and get Chen Kai-fa (陳該發) of the Agan to ground into a game-ending double play for his sixth save of the season.

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