Sat, Apr 14, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Whales self-destruct to hand Elephants unlikely win

EXTRA INNINGS Closer Chuang Pei-chuan cost Nick Bierbrodt the win by allowing the game-tying run in the bottom of the ninth as the Whales blew it

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER AND AP , MILWAUKEE AND ATLANTA

Brother Elephants left-hander Nick Bierbrodt delivers a pitch during the eighth inning of Thursday's game against the Chinatrust Whales in Sinjhuang.

PHOTO: LIN CHENG-KUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Wang Jing-yong's two-out, tie-breaking single off Chinatrust Whales reliever Nee Fu-deh in the top of the 10th scored the winning run for the Brother Elephants as they beat the Whales 5-4 in Sinjhuang on Thursday evening to snap a three-game losing streak.

Brother closer Chuang Pei-chuan cost fellow starter Nick Bierbrodt a big win by blowing his second save of the season as he allowed the Whales to score the game-tying run in the bottom of the ninth when Chen Jie-wei drew a leadoff walk off Bierbrodt. Chen then took second on the ensuing walk by Elephants reliever Wu Bao-shien before reaching home on Wang Hsin-min's opposite-field single off Chuang to make it 4-3 and knotting things up at 4-all on Huang Kwei-yu's sacrifice-fly.

Chuang would go on to earn his first win of the year thanks to Wang's clutch single that delivered the game-winner in extra innings.

The game began with the Elephants wasting no time against Whales starter Shen Yu-jeh by taking the lefty deep with Chen Rei-cheng's two-run homer in the top of the first for a 2-0 lead before ringing up three singles in the second to make it 3-0.

Down by three, the Whales would get two of the three runs back in the third on Chen Jien-wei's two-run double off Bierbrodt to make it 3-2 after three innings of play.

The score remained 3-2 over the three innings until the Elephants were handed their fourth run of the game when the Elephants' Huang Cheng-wei drew a one-out walk off Whales reliever Liu Yu-chan, stole second, and reached third on a wild pitch by Liu before being waived home on a grounder by Liu Gheng-hsin in a 4-2 game.

Bierbrodt pitched brilliantly for the Elephants with eight-plus innings of three-run ball on four hits and a season-high 13 strikeouts. Had it not been for his bullpen's late-game collapse, the American southpaw would have easily won his second game of the year.

Taking the loss for the Whales was Nee, who was brought in with minimal warm-up in an attempt to pitch his club out of a jam. He is now 1-4 for the year.

Bulls 8, Cobras 6

Five deadly errors by a sloppy Macoto Cobras that resulted in six unearned runs for the Sinon Bulls lifted the Bulls past the serpents in a wild 8-6 win at Chiayi on Thursday night.

The loss by the self-destructing Cobras nipped a three-game winning streak for the league-leaders as they missed a golden opportunity to extend their lead over the second-placed La New Bears who now only trail the Cobras by a half-game in the latest standings.

"Anytime you commit five errors in the game, you know you are in for a long night," Cobras manager Wu Fu-lien said after the game.

His crew had been playing fundamentally sound baseball for the most part in the early going this year before Thursday's forgettable outing.

Offensively for the victorious Bulls, outfielder Yu Hsien-ming was a homer shy of hitting for the cycle with an infield single in the first, a double in the second and a rare triple in the eighth.

Picking up the win for the Bulls was Iba Tomokazu of Japan, who allowed four runs (only one earned) on ten hits over six innings for his league-best third win of the season.

Compared to Iba, Cobras starter Kim Jebin of South Korea was not nearly as fortunate as his defense dug a five-run hole through the first four innings for him, a deficit proved too much to overcome.

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