Tue, Aug 08, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Elephants trade places with Macoto Cobras

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Kao Kuo-ching of the President Lions cracks his bat while swinging at a fastball in a game against the Chinatrust Whales on Sunday.

PHOTO: LIAO YAO-TUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Yeh Yong-jeh pitched seven strong innings of one-run ball and Chen "The Golden Warrior" Chih-yuan drove in three runs on a perfect three-for-three night to lead the Brother Elephants past the Macoto Cobras in a 7-3 win at Douliou on Sunday night.

The win gave the men in gold their third win of the week to take the four-game series against the Cobras by a 3-1 margin.

Designated hitter Wang Chuan-hia's liner up the middle off Yeh in the opening innings gave the serpents a brief 1-0 lead in the game, before the Elephants broke out for five runs over the next five innings to claim a comfortable 5-1 cushion.

Shortstop Chen Rei-cheng led the Elephants' counterattack with an RBI double off Macoto starter Yang Chi-jia in the bottom of the first to tie the game at 1-1, before the Golden Warrior followed with a line-drive single to left that put his team ahead 2-1.

While the Cobras had trouble generating any kind of offense against Yeh, the Brother lineup enjoyed a field day teeing off Yang with five runs on seven hits through the first five innings to chase the Cobras starter.

After the Elephants plated a run each in the seventh and eighth to blow the game wide open, the Cobras finally came through in the ninth with a two-run homer by cleanup hitter Hsieh "The Ugly" Jia-shien off Elephants reliever Wang Jing-li to make the final score look more respectable.

The win by the Elephants gave them sole possession of the second-place spot in the latest standings as they traded places with the Cobras by taking three of four games during the week -- an incredible feat considering their depleted starting rotation and a shaky bullpen that had blown several saves over the past month.

Lions 1, Whales 1

Luis Ugueto's costly fielding error in the bottom of the ninth that led to the game-tying run for the Chinatrust Whales in the innings spoiled an otherwise impressive outing by President Lions lefty Eric Cyr as the two teams settled for a 1-1 draw after eleven long innings to end their three-game set in Taichung for the week in a rare 1-1-1 split.

Cyr, winless in his past three starts, took a 1-0 shutout into the bottom of the ninth before Ugueto's miscue allowed the tying run with no outs.

After a successful sacrifice bunt by the next Whales batter to put the runner in scoring position, Wang Hsin-min delivered a clutch double off Cyr that easily scored the runner from second to force a tie that sent the game into extra innings.? Even though the run was scored as unearned for the Canadian native, all those on hand knew Cyr was robbed of what would have been his 10th win of the season.

A classic pitchers' duel between Cyr and the Whales' veteran righty Kao Jien-san had the Lions breaking the ice in the top of the second, when outfielder Hsu Fong-pin smashed a single over the middle to score the runner from third for an early 1-0 lead.

That would be all the scoring that either team was able to muster until the drama late in the game that forced the contest into an extra session.

Closers ShenYu-jeh and Tseng Yi-cheng for the Whales and the Lions respectively, each pitched out of a bases-loaded jam late in the game to keep the tie intact, with Shen getting two foul outs to strand three Lions in the top of the ninth and Tseng striking out Chen Jia-hong to leave the Whales empty-handed in the bottom of the 10th.

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