A pair of one-run wins over the Chinatrust Whales earlier this week propelled the Sinon Bulls past the Macoto Cobras for the sole position of the lead in the latest standings
Hsu Guo-long's two-run home run off Whales starter Scott Sobkowiak in the bottom of the second on Wednesday at Hsinchu turned a 0-1 deficit into a 2-1 lead that would stand for the rest of the game. Neither club managed to score again.
Starter Clinton Hosford pitched five shaky innings of one-run ball for the Bulls, allowing five hits and as many walks, which put runners in scoring position in each inning he pitched. But thanks to a feeble Whales attack that batted only 1-for-5 with men in scoring position and four hitless innings from his bullpen mates (relievers Tsai Chung-nan and Kuo Yong-chih), the Canadian righty was credited for his first win since joining the Bulls in late June.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SINON BULLS
Compared to Hosford, the Whales' Sobkowiak seemed much more in control of his pitches, giving up five hits and walking one over seven solid frames. However, a lack of run support ultimately cost the American hurler the game, as he dropped to 1-2 for the season.
Whales second baseman Dionys Cesar extended his hitting streak to five games with a 3-for-4 night, knocking in his team's lone run for the game.
The Dominican slugger, who made it onto the Whales roster just days before the Aug. 31 deadline, has made his mark by batting 7-for-11 with three RBIs over the last three contests.
Bulls 1, Whales 0
Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan's one-out single off Whales closer Dario Veras with the bases loaded in the bottom of the tenth gave the Bulls a 1-0 shutout win in the series-opener at Taichung on Tuesday night.
Whales first baseman Chen Jien-wei's throwing error to second base, which put the game-winning run in scoring position with one out in the decisive tenth, proved to be the difference in the game as the Bulls improved to 10-8 in the 18 one-run games that they have had thus far.
Converted reliever Osvaldo Martinez picked up the win for the Bulls with two innings of scoreless relief, while his counterpart Veras suffered the loss for allowing the game-winning run (unearned) in the tough loss.
Lions 7, Cobras 4
Three first-inning runs gave the President Lions an early 3-0 lead that they would not relinquish in claiming Tuesday's 7-4 victory over the Cobras at Tainan.
The makeup contest for the game on Aug. 21 between the two clubs was a rude welcoming for Cobras starter Kevin Pickford's season debut as the Lions greeted the newly-arrived American with three straight hits and two drawn walks in a three-run first.
Even though Pickford would settle in over the next three innings, not allowing another run, his night was cut short one out into the fifth when Darryl Brinkley's two-run double chased the right-hander after he had started the inning with back-to-back walks and a hit batsman to load the bases.
The Lions would plate two more runs against the serpents to complete the four-run fifth when reliever Tsai Shih-chin gave up a single to the Bulls' Chen Jia-wei that scored both runners.
Lions starter Pan "Du Du" Wei-luen was rock solid in holding the powerful Cobras attack to two runs on six hits in as many innings. At 9-7, the former Rookie of the Year winner (2003) is a game short of his third straight season with double-digit wins.
Upcoming League Action
The Bulls and the Whales will move their series north with tonight's game in Hsinchuang before finishing out the series with tomorrow's game in Tienmu.
Things will get considerably tougher for the Cobras as they take on the Brother Elephants in a three-game set this week, beginning with yesterday's game in Douliou before they meet again in Hsinchuang tomorrow and in Tienmu on Sunday for the series finale.
Last but not least, the La New Bears were to play their three-game series against the Lions with a visit to Tainan yesterday, followed by tonight's battle in Kaohsiung and Sunday's game back in Tainan.
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