Tue, Oct 14, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Bulls gore Elephants to tie series

PITCH PERFECT In Game 2 of the Taiwan Series, the Bulls offense and defense made amends for their Game 1 loss with a stirring 9-1 rout of the Brother Elephants

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Sinon Bulls' Chang Tai-shan connects in this August file photo. Chang hit a home run in Game 2 of the Taiwan Series in Kaohsiung on Sunday night.

TAIPEI TIMES FILE PHOTO

Game 2 of the 2003 Taiwan Series in Kaohsiung on Sunday was all about redemption for the Sinon Bulls.

The first-half champs erased memories of the 0-2 shutout-loss in Game 1 with a convincing 9-1 rout of the Brother Elephants, shortstop Cheng Jau-han's (鄭兆行) made amends for his hurried throw in Game 1 that led to an unearned Elephant run with a 2-for-4, one-RBI night while the entire Bull offense bounced back from scoring just one hit in Game 1 with 11 blasts off regular-season victory leader Yokota Hisanori.

Converting their anger into solid execution, the Bulls stampeded over the defending champs by striking early and often against Yokota with six runs after the first three innings, highlighted by cleanup man Chang Tai-shan's (張泰山) towering home run to left-center in the top of the second and first baseman Chueh Shu-mu's (闕樹木) two-run triple deep into the left-center gap in the top of the third.

The 6-0 lead after three innings proved to be more than ample for Bulls starter Osvaldo Martinez, as the right-hander from the Dominican Republic kept the Elephant hitters off balance all night in a three-hit effort.

Snapping his four-game losing streak against the Elephants, the regular-season strikeout leader fanned four and walked none in seven strong innings to increase his season total to 186.

"I am really glad most of my pitches hit the corners that I wanted. It's critical to have such command of your pitches," Martinez said in the postgame press conference, acknowledging the fact that the Elephant hitters seldom miss pitches that catch too much of the plate.

"I am very pleased with my performance in a championship game like this one," he said.

In the interest of resting Martinez, Bulls manager Chen Wei-cheng (陳威成) went with setup man Ho Chi-shien (何紀賢) in the eighth and closer Ramon Morel in the ninth to wrap up the win with two perfect innings of relief.

Offensively for the Elephants, the normally dominating heart of the order went 1-for-10.

The lone highlight for the Elephants fans came on slugger Peng Cheng-ming's (彭政閔) single up the middle in the bottom of the fifth to extend his record-setting postseason hitting streak to 12 games.

Peng scored on designated hitter Wang Chin-yun's (王金勇) sacrifice fly to center in the same inning for the Elephants' only run of the game.

"It's okay, he [Martinez] can't be pitching in all of the games," Elephant skipper Lin Yi-tseng (林易增) said after the loss.

The Taiwan Series will continue tonight with Game 3 in Taichung.

Defending the home turf for the Bulls will be right-hander Tsai Chung-nan (蔡仲南).

The winner of last season's rookie of the year honor will try to make the most of home-field advantage for the Bulls against an Elephant squad that will counter with "Bull Killer" Wu Jung-yi (吳俊億). Wu holds a 4-0 record against the Bulls this year and is an amazing 7-0 dating back to last season.

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