Sun, Jul 02, 2006 - Page 22 News List

Bears and Bulls kick-start second-half CPBL action

BASEBALL Kenny Rayborn became the CPBL's first 10-win man as the Bears overpowered the Elephants, while the Bulls turned a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 triumph over the Lions

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

The Chicago Cubs' Juan Pierre, left, is tagged out at home plate by Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski during the seventh inning on Friday at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

PHOTO: AP

CPBLSecond-half action opened in Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League on Friday night with the La New Bears easily handling the Brother Elephants in a 5-1 victory in Sinjhuang and the Sinon Bulls rallying for three runs late in the game to top the President Lions 5-3 at Taichung.

La New starter Kenny Rayborn became the league's first 10-win man with eight outstanding innings of work, allowing a run on four hits while fanning four and walking four.

The American right-hander, who also leads the league with his earned run average (ERA) with a miniscule 1.53 mark, shook off a shaky first inning in which he surrendered the lone Elephants run in the game on an infield single and a timely run-scoring double by Chen Guan-ren, and finished off strong by allowing just one more Elephants batter to reach beyond first base over the next seven frames.

Doing the damage at the plate for the Bears were catcher Chen Fong-min and first baseman Pan Chung-wei, both going 2-for-4 on the night with three combined RBIs to champion an attack that scored five unanswered runs off 11 hits against three different Elephants pitchers in the win.

Taking the loss was Elephants starter Joey Dawley of the US, who gave up three runs, two earned, on nine hits over seven decent innings, but fell victim to a punchless offense that could not generate many hits, let alone runs. Shortstop Chen Rei-cheng's 3-for-3 night was the lone highlight for an Elephants lineup that managed only five hits in the contest.

Bulls 5, Lions 3

Huang Chung-yi's game-tying solo blast off Lions reliever Lin Yueh-ping in the bottom of the eighth started what ended up being a three-run inning for the Bulls as they turned a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 triumph at Taichung on Friday night.

It was the veteran slugger's 98th homer in an illustrious career that includes 1,431 hits and counting, and nine all-league selections from his second-base position to put him two homers shy of the 100-homer, 1,000-hit plateau presently occupied solely by his teammate Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan (1,070 hits and 168 homers).

After Huang's solo shot off Lin Yueh-ping tied the game at 3-all in the eighth, catcher Yeh Jung-chang would follow with an opposite-field single that scored the go-ahead run for the Bulls before Lin Tsung-nan's run-scoring triple made it 5-3.

The game began with both starters Pan "Du Du" Wei-luen for the Lions and Alfredo Gonzalez of the Bulls breezing through the first two innings before the home hosts drew first blood on outfielder Tseng Hua-wei's RBI groundout in the bottom of the third for a 1-0 lead.

The 1-0 lead for the Bulls lasted less than an inning as the Lions fought back with two runs of their own in the top of the fourth, courtesy of right-fielder Chen Lien-hong's two-run single after the first two hitters had reached via a leadoff walk and a single to start the inning.

The Lions actually added to their 2-1 lead with what seemed to be an insurance run in the top of the seventh, when Kao Chih-kang's pinch-hit double knocked in Chen to make it 3-1 in favor of the visitors before the Bulls responded with a run in the bottom of the inning to set the stage for the game-turning rally in the eighth.

Gonzalez was credited with the win, his eighth of the year, for holding the Lions to three runs on five hits over eight innings, despite trailing the Lions for most of the game.

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