Mon, May 22, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Chang Tai-shan sets new mark


Sinon Bulls' Chang Tai-shan reacts to the crowd after hitting his 165th career home run, a CPBL record, in Tienmu Saturday. The Bulls defeated the Whales 3-2.


"When you're hot, the baseball looks as big as a basketball," Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan(張泰山)said after his Sinon Bulls' 3-2 win over the Chinatrust Whales in Tienmu Saturday night.

The league's newly crowned career home run leader was 3-for-3 with a solo homer that surpassed the previous mark set by former Mercury Tigers great Luis Iglesias of Panama.

Along with the homer, Chang's 11th of the year and 165th in an illustrious career, the outstanding slugger from Taitung also collected his 700th RBI to celebrate the win on a milestone night.

Cheng Chang-ming's double and Chen Jien-wei's single in the top of the first and fourth respectively spotted Whales starter Chu Wei-ming an early 2-0 lead that was cut in half by the Prince in the bottom of the fourth with one monstrous swing.

The Bulls would knot things up at 2-2 in the sixth when first baseman Hsu Guo-long drew a bases-loaded walk off Chu after two outs that chased the Whales starter.

The score remained 2-all until the bottom of the eighth when the victorious Bulls skidded ahead for good after second baseman Huang Chung-yi slapped a two-out single off Whales reliever Shen Yu-jeh and scored on Hsu's line-drive single up the middle for what turned out to be the game-winning hit.

Set-up man Kuo Yong-chih picked up his second win in as many days for pitching a scoreless eighth before Panamanian right-hander Jorge Cortez got the final two outs in the ninth for his first save of the year.

As for the hapless Whales who lost their third one-run game of the week over a series sweep by the Bulls, the term "bad luck" could not even begin to describe the kind of season they are having as they sink to the bottom of the Chinese Professional Baseball League standings in the mist of a four-game losing streak.

Bears 6, Cobras 3

Bears 3, Cobras 1

Behind solid efforts by their top two pitchers, the La New Bears earned a double-header sweep against the Macoto Cobras in Sinjuang Saturday to become the CPBL's first 20-win club, beating the Cobras 6-3 in the afternoon and then 3-1 in the evening.

American righty Kenny Rayborn pocketed his league-leading sixth victory of the season with seven innings of three-run ball (all unearned), allowing six hits while fanning five and walking five.

After a shaky three-run first that included a key error by the Bears defense and a wild pitch that scored a run, Rayborn quickly regained his usual presence on the mound to keep the scoring gate shut over the next six innings. The Bears bullpen also did its part with reliever Lee Fong-hua retiring six Cobras straight over two perfect innings to secure the win.

Offensively for the Bears, outfielder Tsai Jien-wei's 3-for-5 hitting with three RBIs led an attack that rang up 14 hits off a depleted Cobras staff that was missing two of its top four pitchers because of injuries.

The night game between the two squads had the serpents jumping to a 1-0 lead in the fourth on a solo shot by Dominican slugger Rudy Pemberton off Bears lefty ace Wu Si-yo.

The Cobras lead lasted less than an inning as the Bears roared back to answer with a two-run fifth on a rare triple by third baseman Shih Chih-wei off game loser Lee Ming-jin, that scored both runs in the inning. Lee got the unexpected call to the mound one batter into the fifth when starter Hsu Chu-jien had to leave the game with some soreness to his throwing arm after what had been four magnificent innings by Hsu in a one-hit outing.

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