Sun, May 28, 2006 - Page 23 News List

Bears continue to soar

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

La New Bears rookie starter Tsai Ying-fong eyes the plate as he delivers a pitch against the Sinon Bulls in Kaohsiung on Thursday. The Bears defeated the Bulls 9-1.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CPBL

The league-leading La New Bears upped their lead over the second-place Sinon Bulls to 3-1/2 games in the standings with a pair of wins earlier this week.

Thursday's 9-1 rout in Kaohsiung was all Bears from the get go as the home hosts scored two runs in the opening inning on back-to-back one-run singles by sluggers Chen Chin-fong and Todd Betts of Canada for a quick 2-0 lead.

After the Bulls countered with a run of their own in the fifth on outfielder Su Jien-rong's solo homer off Bears starter Tsai Ying-fong to make it 2-1, La New then plated seven unanswered runs over the next four innings to pull away in the eventual blowout.

The heart of the order for the Bears enjoyed a huge day with Chen and Betts going a combined 4-for-7 with five RBIs while Lin Chih-sheng and Pan Chung-wei followed with a hit and an RBI each to account for the majority of the Bears' scoring.

Rookie starter Tsai held the Bulls in check in a four-hit gem over eight brilliant innings, allowing the lone Sinon run on Su's solo blast that denied the right-hander a chance for his first career shutout.

Taking the loss was Sinon starter Jorge Cortez of Panama, who surrendered five runs on ten hits over five shaky innings in his worst start of the season by far.

Bears 3, Bulls 1

Staff ace Kenny Rayborn pitched eight strong innings of one-run ball (unearned) for the Bears in Friday night's 3-1 win over the Bears to become the league's first seven-game winner.

The American veteran righty allowed an unearned run in the opening frame when a defensive error by the Bears scored what turned out to be the Bulls' only run in the game, before quickly regaining his winning form to four-hit the Bulls over the next seven innings for the win.

Offensively for the Bears, Betts' two-run home run off game-loser Yang Jien-fu in the bottom of the second was the difference in the game as the red-hot Canadian slugger overtook the league's lead in RBIs with his 32nd of the season to lead the Bulls' Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan (29) by three.

Lions 4, Whales 1, Game 1

Lions 1, Whales 0, Game 2

The President Lions extended their winning streak to six games with Friday's 4-1 win over the Chinatrust Whales in Sinjhuang behind eight magnificent innings by lefty ace Eric Cyr of Canada.

Following Thursday's 1-0 shutout win over the Whales in Hsinchu that gave veteran right-hander Tsao Jung-yang his first win of the year, the Lions were set to win their sixth straight to keep pace with the Bears from their third-place spot in the standings.

Third baseman Chen Jia-wei's RBI ground out off Whales starter Du Chang-wei in the top of the first gave the big cats an early 1-0 lead that stood until the seventh when two singles and a costly error by Whales shortstop Wang Yi-min produced three runs to make it 4-0 Lions.

The Whales avoided their second shutout in as many days with a run in the eighth when leftfielder Kuo Dai-yong reached with a two-out single off Cyr and scored all the way from first on second baseman Chiou Jung-wen's stand-up double.

Cyr was credited with his fifth win of the year to improve to a 5-2 mark while Du suffered his third setback of the year despite pitching six solid innings of one-run ball in a quality start.

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