Mon, Aug 14, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Whales squeeze past Elephants

ON THE UP-AND-UP The Chinatrust Whales inched out the Brother Elephants for their third straight win, moving up to second place in the standings

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Sinon Bulls runner Chang Chia-hao, right, slides into second base as Cobras second baseman Shih Hsiang-kai, left, attempts to tag him out and Cobras Shortstop Kuo Ming-jen, center, tries to seize the ball in the fifth innings in Chiayi City on Saturday.

PHOTO: LIAO YAO-TUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

CPBLTseng Han-chou's pinch-hit groundout off closer Todd Erdos with a runner on third scored the go-ahead run for the Chinatrust Whales in the top of the 10th, as they blanked the Brother Elephants 1-0 in Tienmu on Saturday night for their third straight win.

Kao Jung-chiang led off the Chinatrust tenth with a clean single off Erdos and stole second against the American righty before advancing to third on a grounder by Chen Jien-wei to set the stage for Tseng's game-winning swing.

The win propelled the Whales to a share of second-place in the standings with the Sinon Bulls, bringing much expectation for the club that finished dead last in the first half of this season.

Ace Tseng Jau-hao got out of a tough jam with men on second and third in a shaky first without allowing any runs, before going on to throw nine shutout innings on seven scattered singles for his eighth win of the season.

The classic pitchers' duel between Tseng and top Elephants starter Joey Dawley of the US had both offenses kept in check through the first five innings, before reliever Chuang Wei-chuan entered in the sixth in relief of a tiring Dawley to continue the scoreless affair with four more outstanding innings of two-hit ball.

Setup man extraordinaire Shen Yu-jeh gave up a leadoff single to the Elephants' Yang Bo-ren in the bottom of the 10th, but managed to squeeze out two final outs after a sacrifice bunt put a runner on second to preserve the win for the Whales.

Offensively for the Whales, catcher Wang Hsin-min tied a season-high with three base hits on the night to up his batting average to .339 in his ninth multi-hit outing in twelve games.

Bulls 6, Cobras 4,

Bulls 2, Cobras 4

The Macoto Cobras avoided being swept by the Sinon Bulls for the week with a 4-2 come-from-behind win in Saturday night's series finale at Chiayi to end the four-game set against the Bulls on a high note.

After dropping three straight to their nemesis from Taichung, including a tough 1-0 contest on Friday night that wasted a complete-game effort by Lin "Little Chick" En-yu, the slumping serpents were on the verge of being swept while losing five in a row.

But Deng Shih-yang was able to deliver two timely hits late in the game with men in scoring position to account for three of his team's four runs in the game.

It was Deng's clutch single off Sinon reliever Lu Ming-chuan with runners on second and third in the bottom of the seven that scored two runs to give the Cobras their first lead of the game at 2-1, before Yang Rei-chih's sacrifice fly to deep-left that made it 3-1 in favor of the Cobras.

Even though the Bulls would plate another run in the top of the eighth on Huang Chung-yi's RBI single off winning pitcher Lee Ming-jin to cut the Macoto lead down to 3-2, Deng was able to answer with his second run-scoring drive of the game in the bottom of the same inning, this time an RBI single to shallow-right scored an insurance run for his team.

The win helped the Cobras gain a split between the two clubs in the day-night doubleheader, where Sinon bullied its way to a 6-4 victory earlier in the day on the strength of five RBIs from the heart of its order.

Hsu Guo-long's two-run homer off Cobras reliever Yang Chi-jia capped a three-RBI game for the long-ball threat on a 2-for-5 outing, while Huang and cleanup hitter Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan each connected for three hits for two more RBIs to lead the offense.

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