Sun, May 07, 2006 - Page 23 News List

Chang Tai-shan matches career home-run record

PRO BASEBALL Chang, 29, now in his 11th season as a professional ballplayer, got his 162nd career home run during a 4-1 victory over the Elephants in Hsinchu on Thursday

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTERAP

Chang Tai-shan of the Bulls knocks the ball over the left-field wall for his record-tying 162nd career homer in Thursday's game against the Brother Elephants at Hsinchu. The Bulls defeated the Elephants 4-1.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SINON BULLS

Chang Tai-shan (張泰山) tied Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League mark for career home runs with his 162nd career blast on Thursday night as the Sinon Bulls defeated the Brother Elephants 4-1 in Hsinchu.

The 29-year-old slugger, in his 11th season as a professional, took a high pitch from Elephants starter Joe Dawley of the US and deposited it into the leftfield seats for a two-run shot in the top of the first inning to give the visiting Bulls a quick 2-0 lead.

The Bulls doubled their 2-0 lead in the seventh inning with catcher Yeh Jung-chang's two-run double up the middle off Elephants reliever Hsiao Ren-wen after the first two Bulls hitters opened the inning with consecutive singles.

Limited to three scattered singles over eight scoreless innings, the Elephants finally got on the board in the top of the ninth on pinch-hitter Chen Guan-ren's RBI groundout after Chen "The Golden Warrior" Chih-yuan was hit by a pitch to reach first and a base hit by Peng "Chia Chia" Cheng-min put runners at the corners to start off the inning.

Bulls reliever Kuo Yong-chih got the last two outs of the game for his first save of the year to preserve the win for starter Jorge Cortez, who improved to 4-1 with 8-1/3 innings of outstanding effort.

Taking the tough loss was the Elephants' Dawley, who allowed two runs on six hits in as many innings in his Taiwanese debut.

Bulls 3, Elephants 0

The shutout that did not happen for the Bulls on Thursday came one day later as the defending champs blanked the Elephants in Game 2 of the series 3-0 on Friday night.

Dominican righty Alfredo Gonzalez followed Cortez's lead with eight innings of four-hit ball before reliever Yu Wen-pin kept the shutout intact with a scoreless ninth for his third save of the season.

The low-scoring affair in Hsinchu had Elephants rookie starter Liao Yu-cheng matching Gonzalez's four-hit gem with seven outstanding innings of shutout ball on three hits and seven strikeouts.

But the opportunistic Bulls were able to exploit a defensive error in the game-deciding eighth inning by plating three runs, highlighted by veteran infielder Huang Chung-yi's two-run single off reliever Chuang Pei-chuan.

Lions 5, Cobras 1

Pan "Du Du" Wei-luen tossed eight strong innings of shutout ball to help the President Lions top the Macoto Cobras 5-1 at Sinjhuang on Friday.

The 2003 Rookie of the Year struck out four and walked none while allowing seven hits in his best outing over the last three starts for his first win since mid-April.

Six different Lions had multi-hit games, with a total of 15 hits, led by Venezuelan infielder Luis Ugueto and American slugger Bryant Nelson.

Cobras starter Hsu Chu-jien took the loss in his first game since returning from an arm injury in April, after allowing three runs on eight hits in five innings of work.

American League

With a seven-run lead and a chance to give Mike Mussina a break, New York Yankees manager Joe Torre didn't think twice about going to his bullpen.

Then the relievers, including Mariano Rivera, almost gave the game away on Friday night.

"Luckily, we had a big lead," Torre said after New York held on for an 8-7 victory at Texas, ending the Rangers' six-game winning streak.

Mussina was pulled after allowing only his third hit, a single by Kevin Mench to start the eighth on the right-hander's 86th pitch. Mench's RBI single off the fourth pitcher in the inning finally capped the six-run outburst.

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