Fri, Aug 11, 2006 - Page 23 News List

Back-to-back wins revive troubled Chinatrust team

BASEBALL The Chinatrust Whales clawed their way back to third place in the standings after beating the Elephants twice in as many days. Slugger Huang Kwei-yu was red hot

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

The Chinatrust Whales' Wang Hsin-min, right, tags out the Brother Elephants' Chen Chih-yuan on second before throwing to first for a double play in their match in Taichung on Wednesday night. The Whales won 4-2.

PHOTO: CHAN CHAO-YANG, TAIPEI TIMES

Back-to-back victories over the Brother Elephants earlier this week breathed new signs of life into the once-troubled Chinatrust Whales, as they ascended to third place in the standings for the first time since late June.

Cheng Chang-ming's clutch single with runners on first and second broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the seventh before Chen Jien-wei's solo homer off Elephants reliever Wang Jing-li in the eighth scored an insurance run in a 4-2 Whales victory at Taichung on Wednesday night.

The contest had the Whales jumping out on top with red-hot slugger Huang Kwei-yu, this year's Homer Run Derby winner, lining a clean RBI double to deep-left off Elephants starter Chuck Smith in the top of the first for a quick 1-0 lead.

The marine creatures would double their lead two innings later with Huang leading the way again by delivering a run-scoring single in the third that brought home fellow teammate Chen Jien-wei.

Trailing by a deuce, the Elephants finally answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the third on three singles and a costly throwing error by Whales second baseman Wang Yi-min to tie the game at 2-2.

That would be all the offense that the men in the golden uniform could muster against the Whales' pitching as starter Alexander Herrera and reliever Su Tseh-yi combined for six shutout innings the rest of the way to claim the win.

Su improved to 3-1 for the season with the win by pitching 3-2/3 innings of two-hit ball in relief of starter Herrera. Smith dropped to 2-4 for the year in the loss, despite turning in seven solid innings of work on three runs (two earned) and six hits. He walked one and fanned a season-high of eight.

Whales 7, Elephants 6

Four late-inning runs by the Whales provided just enough offense to beat the Elephants in Tuesday night's series-opener at Chiayi in a close 7-6 win.

Brian Becker's timely single off Wang Jing-li with the bases loaded scored a pair of runs for the Whales as they broke a 3-3 deadlock in the seventh to go up 5-3.

The Whales then added two more runs in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Cheng Chang-ming and a run-scoring double by Chi Juang-lin to make it 7-3.

Chi's one-run double proved to be critical as the Elephants rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth with a three-run blast by pinch-hitter Chen Rei-chang off Whales reliever Liu Yu-chang to get within one of the Whales. That was as close as the Elephants got, as Liu managed to get two groundouts after giving up the three-run shot to preserve the 7-6 win.

The Elephants actually drew first blood in the bottom of the first on Chen Rei-cheng's single up the middle off Whales starter Du Chang-wei, only to see Chinatrust respond with three second-inning runs, highlighted by Becker's solo blast over the left field wall, to claim a 3-1 lead.

The Elephants would even things up in the sixth with another RBI single by Chen Rei-cheng and a sacrifice fly by Chen Guan-ren to set the stage for the late-game drama.

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