Tue, Jul 13, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Cobras hold on in extra innings

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Francisco Morales' two-out, game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth sent the game into extra innings before power slugger Hsieh Jia-shien (謝佳賢) delivered the game-winning RBI with a double in the 10th inning to lift the Macoto Cobras past the Sinon Bulls in Saturday's heart-stopping 2-1 thriller.

It was the serpents' first victory since their second-half opening win over the Chinatrust Whales on June 19.

The late-game drama nullified another impressive outing by Bulls starter Yang Jien-fu (陽建福), who pitched seven shutout innings, allowing five hits while fanning a season-high 11.

Yang left the game with a 1-0 lead that his bullpen mates failed to protect, denying him his eighth win of the season.

His counterpart, Kleber Ojima, was equally as impressive in holding a potent Bulls' lineup to six hits over nine frames before being relieved.

Other than a hanging slider that Bulls' third baseman Chang Tai-shan (張泰山) crushed for a run-scoring double to the opposite field, Ojima was in full control for the entire game.

Sunday's 6-1 final, also in favor of the Cobras, did not have the late-game drama from the night before, but was filled with three long balls that sent the serpents to their second victory in as many games.

Morales' solo blast in the bottom of the fifth off Bulls starter Kuo Yung-chih (郭勇志) tied the game at 1-1, before teammates Chiou Chang-rong (丘昌榮) and Wu Cheng-hang (吳承翰) also went deep in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively.

Set-up man Lee Ming-jing (李明進) recorded his sixth win of the season by holding the Bulls scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings before lefty ace Lin Ying-jeh (林英傑) wrapped up the game with two near-perfect innings in his new closer role.

Strong pitching was the difference in the President Lions' three-game sweep of the Whales last week, as the first-half champs held the Whales to just five runs in all three contests.

Thursday's 3-2 decision had the big cats trailing the Whales 1-2 in the bottom of the seventh until catcher Kao Cheng-hua's (高政華) RBI-single up the middle knotted the game up and shortstop Yang Seng's (陽森) sacrifice fly to deep left won it.

Lions closer Michael Garcia stuck out five batters in two innings of relief work for the win, extending his scoreless-inning streak to 37.

Normally sure-handed Whales closer Dario Veras suffered his first defeat of the year after giving up the lead in the seventh inning. He is now 5-1 with 8 saves for the year.

A four-run eighth by the Lions broke a 2-2 tie in Game 2 of the series on Friday night that made Garcia the winner for the second game in a row.

First baseman Kao Guo-ching (高國慶) started the Lions eighth with a solo homer -- his sixth of the year -- before veteran designated hitter Chen "the Terrorist" Cheng-shien (陳政賢) and center fielder Huang Kang-ling (黃甘霖) knocked in three more runs off Whales reliever Wang Guo-jing (王國進).

Sunday's series finale had the Lions eying a 14-0 shutout when Whales third baseman Chen Jien-wei' (陳建偉) floating single to left field -- cracking the goose egg for the visiting team in the 14-1 final.

Lions starter Donald Lemon kept the Whales hitters guessing in five masterful innings before leaving the game with a 5-0 lead.

He's won both of his starts since joining the team three weeks ago.

The Brother Elephants ended their eight-game winning streak in heated fashion on Saturday night against the La New Bears, as several controversial calls prompted Elephants skipper Lin Yi-tseng (林易增) to approach the home plate umpire in the bottom of the ninth.

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