Fri, Jun 25, 2004 - Page 23 News List

Bears and Whales end up even after two meetings

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

The La New Bears and Chinatrust Whales split the first two games of their four-game series earlier this week to kick off the first full week of action in the second half of the Chinese Professional Baseball League season.

Game 1 in Kaohsiung on Tuesday had the visiting Whales taking a 3-0 lead into the seventh before the Bears erupted for six unanswered runs for a 6-3 come-from-behind victory.

Solo blasts by Whales first baseman Tung Tsung-hui (童琮輝) and outfielder Huang Kwei-yu (黃貴裕) off Bears starter Lee Fong-hua (李風華) in the first and third innings gave their fans something to cheer for.

In the seventh inning, Tung Tsung-hui dropped an easy foul ball and a high-bouncer that allowed Bears second baseman Shih Chih-wei (石志偉) to reach first base for an infield single, which eventually led to six straight runs in the Bears half of the inning.

The home team batted around the order against three different Whales pitchers.

Bears reliever Liang Rue-hao (梁如豪) pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth for his first win of the season while Whales set-up man Lin Chao-huang (林朝煌) took the loss after failing to hold the lead.

Rookie shortstop Lin Chih-sheng (林智盛) snapped up the game-MVP honor for his three RBI's that accounted for half of the Bear runs.

In Game 2, the Whales put up four runs in the top of the sixth that turned a one-run deficit into a three-run lead in their own version of a come-from-behind win.

The 6-4 final placed the Whales in the win column for the first time in the second half.

Whales catcher Chen Wen-bin's (陳文賓) two-run shot off Bears starter Hsu Wen-hsiung (許文雄) gave the Whales the lead for good, as ace closer Dario Veras retired the side in order in the eighth and ninth innings for his sixth save of the year.

American righty Rusty Meacham had his consecutive-innings-without-a-walk record snapped at 30-2/3 innings when he walked Bears cleanup hitter Lin Chih-sheng in the bottom of the first.

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The Bears will finish their four-game series against the Whales while the President Lions take on the Sinon Bulls in a highly anticipated three-game series.

Lion starters, Joe Davenport and Pan Wei-luen (潘威倫) will be looking to bounce back from subpar performances in their last outings.

Davenport allowed six runs in just under two innings and saw his ERA rise nearly 30 points in a game against the Bears, while Pan surrendered five runs in just two-plus innings the last time he took the mound for the Lions.

A red-hot Kuo Yung-chih (郭勇志), who is 3-0 in his last four starts, could be the answer to a starting Bulls rotation that has been injury-plagued all season long.

The Elephants "offense" will be the center of attention in their three-game series against the Macoto Cobras this week, since scoring production has been low.

The drop in run production by the heart of the Elephants order, which combined for 10 RBI's in the last six games as compared to 102 RBI's in the previous 44 games, has been in is the main reason that the defending champs have scored four or more runs only twice in their last six games.

It will not be a walk in the park for the Elephants as they face starting pitchers Kleber Ojima and Lin Ying-jeh (林英傑) of the Cobras, both of whom have six victories under their belt and ERAs of around 2.

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