Seven eighth-inning runs against Chinatrust Whales ace closer Dario Veras helped the Sinon Bulls overcome a 4-2 deficit en route to a 9-4 victory in their series opener at Douliou on Wednesday night.
The defending champs rang up six straight hits off Veras in an eight-hit eighth, highlighted by centerfielder Tseng Hua-wei's leadoff double and a single in the same inning off reliever Cheng Chih-chiang for the win, extending their non-losing streak to four in a row.
Sinon starter Clint Weibl picked up his second win of the season in another solid effort with eight innings of four-hit ball. Two of the four hits he allowed were homers to the Whales' Chi Jung-lin (two-run shot in the sixth) and Kao Jung-chiang (solo blast in the seventh) that actually had him in line for the loss if it was not for the eight-run explosion in the game-deciding eighth.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CPBL
Steve Smyth saw his chance for the second win of the year go down the drain in a no-decision with Veras failing to preserve the win for the American right-hander, suffering his first loss of the season in by far his worst performance in three seasons.
Offensively for the Bulls, four batters had multi-hit games against six different Whales pitchers, led by Tseng and veteran catcher Yeh Jung-chang's three-hit nights.
Cobras 6, Bears 6
Long balls dominated Tuesday night's contest between the Macoto Cobras and the La New Bears as Hsieh Jia-shien and Chen Chin-fong each homered for their respective club in a seesaw battle at Kaohsiung that ended in a 6-6 draw.
Hsieh got the Cobras on the board in the top of the second with a solo shot to deep-left off La New starter Gustavo Martinez for a quick 1-0 lead. The opposite-field blast by the defending home run champ marked the 5,000th in league history as the game was stopped briefly to celebrate the impressive milestone.
The Cobras 1-0 lead lasted less than an inning as the home Bears responded with a four-run third against starter Fernando Hernandez capped by Chen's two-run shot to dead-center and Pan Chung-wei's rare triple down the first base line that scored the runner from first.
Trailing 4-1, Macoto would muster three runs in the sixth on back-to-back singles by Hsieh and veteran slugger Wang Chuan-jia and a throwing error on top of a leadoff walk by Martinez.
Kuo Ming-ren's two-out single off La New's Hsu Wen-hsiung helped the Cobras regain a 5-4 advantage in the seventh before Pan's infield single plated the equalizer for the Bears in the eighth to force a 5-5 tie.
The seesaw affair continued in the ninth with the Cobras striking again to take a 6-5 lead, only to see the hosts answered by belting a pair of extra-base hits off Macoto closer Jose Paniagua with two outs to end the game on a 6-6 tie.
Elephants 2, Lions 1 Lions 9, Elephants 3
The President Lions split the first two games of the four-game series with the Brother Elephants as the Elephants escaped Tainan with a narrow 2-1 win on Tuesday before the Lions returned the favor in a 9-3 victory on Wednesday night.
Kefu Tetsu turned in his best outing of the young season by tossing eight innings of one-hit ball for the team in the gold uniform. The Elephant's Japanese ace took a perfect game into the sixth before the Lions' Liu Fu-hao broke it up with an infield single and eventually scored the game's first run in the same inning.
Standing opposite of Kefu with an equally dominating effort off the mound was Lions ace Pan "Du Du" Wei-luen, whose eight spectacular innings of two-run ball (both unearned) on four hits would have easily gotten the righty a league-leading fourth win of the season, had second baseman Yang Seng not committed the fatal error in the sixth the led to both of the Elephants' runs in the game.
The Lions let out their frustration in Game 2 of the series on Wednesday with a convincing 9-3 win, powered by Chen Lien-hong's five-RBI game en route to a game-MVP selection.
The older brother of La New great Chin-fong has not exactly hit the ball particularly well during the first month of the season until he feasted off the Elephants pitchers with a stellar effort on Wednesday.
President starter Lin Yueh-pin was rock solid over seven scoreless innings for his first win of the season, allowing four scattered singles while fanning six and walking one.
As for the hapless Elephants, none of the three pitchers in the game was able to keep the Lions attack at bay, with starter Brian Rodaway taking the loss for yielding four runs on six hits in as many innings and reliever Wu Bao-shien dropping five more runs, also on six hits, but in just two innings of work.
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