Wed, Jul 07, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Elephants produce five-game winning streak after slump

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Heavy downpours late last week was the only thing that stood between the Brother Elephants and another series sweep -- this time, at the expense of the Chinatrust Whales.

After their three-game-series sweep over the Macoto Cobras a week earlier, the defending champions won their series opener against the Whales on Thursday 4-2, extending their winning streak to four games.

Rookie starter Chuang Pei-chuang (莊培全), who was spotted a quick 2-0 Elephant lead in the first inning, allowed the Whales tie things up in the fourth.

Chuang was then ejected in the fourth for hitting Whales first baseman Tung Tsung-hui (童琮輝) in the head with a pitch.

According to strict league regulations that were meant to protect hitters, pitchers are automatically ejected for hitting a batter in the head area.

The Elephants offense regained the lead in the seventh inning on left fielder Lin Ming-shien's (林明憲) two-out single and RBI. They then added an insurance run in the ninth for the 4-2 victory.

Reliever Wang Jing-li (王勁力) earned his second win of the season for his four frames of shutout pitching, while Whales starter Kao Jien-san (高建三) suffered the loss.

After Game 2 was rained out on Friday, the two squads again took the field in Tienmu on Sunday, where the Elephant bats lit up the scoreboard with a dozen runs.

Chen "the Golden Warrior" Chih-yuan (陳致遠) led the Elephants attack with a 3-for-5 and three-RBI night, highlighted by his 10th home run of the year in the top of the seventh.

Four different Elephants hitters had multi-hit games on a humid night off Whales pitching that walked five and had two wild pitches.

The Elephants have won five in a row as they look to this week's four-game series against the last-place La New Bears.

Wet weather in the Taichung area called off two of the Sinon Bulls' three contests against the Bears, making last Thursday's 6-3 Bulls' victory the only game played for either team last week.

Cleanup man Chang Tai-shan (張泰山) had a two-run blast off Bears starter Phillip Bailey. It was Chang's 10th homer of the year, making it seven straight years that the native of Taitung has had double-digit homers.

Bulls starter Yu Wen-bin (余文彬) took a two-hit 6-0 shutout into the 9th before running into trouble and yielding three runs in a game that was dominated by the hosts.

Veteran righty Donald Lemon's 2004 debut with the President Lions was a splash as he three-hit the Cobras in Tienmu on Saturday in five solid innings for his first win of the year.

The former Major Leaguer, who spent a year in Japan with the Yakult Swallows of the Nippon Professional Baseball League in 2000, is back with the team for which he had tallied a 32-27 mark with 13 saves in five previous seasons (1996 to 1999 and 2001) in an effort to bring some much-needed experience to an otherwise young staff.

Lion closer Michael Garcia upped his consecutive saves' streak to 19 to remain perfect for the season with another spectacular outing -- striking out three of the six batters he faced in just under two innings of work.

A three-run sixth, capped by Lions center fielder Huang Kang-lin's RBI single off Cobras reliever Chen Chih-cheng (陳志誠) was the difference in the 5-2 final in favor of the big cats.

A bright spot in the Cobras' three-game losing skid was first baseman Hsieh Jia-shien's (謝佳賢) 10th homer of the season.

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