Wang Chuan-jia's two-run double off La New Bears closer Ramon Morel in the bottom of the eighth broke a 3-3 tie as the Macoto Cobras scored five unanswered runs to top the Bears 5-3 in Chiayi on Wednesday night and split the two-game set against the Bears.
The veteran lefty slugger slapped a knee-high offering from Morel to the opposite field with runners on first and second to deliver the game-winning runs, helping the Cobras salvage a series split versus the defending champs while they remain atop the standings with a half-game lead over the second-placed Chinatrust Whales.
Chen Chin-fong's league-best eighth homer of the season, a solo blast off Cobras starter Lin Jing-min in the top of the second, gave the Bears a quick 1-0 lead, which was bolstered by Tsai Jien-wei's two-run single in the third, giving them a 3-0 advantage.
PHOTO: CHAN CHAO-YANG, TAIPEI TIMES
That turned out to be all the runs that the Bears offense could manage on the night against the Cobras pitching with Lin Jing-min getting good defensive help to emerge unharmed from a shaky fifth and sixth before relievers Lee Ming-jin and Travis Minix combined for three scoreless innings to silence the Bears bats.
Lee was credited with his second win of the season for his two innings of one-hit relief while Minix pocketed his fourth save with a perfect ninth to tie the Sinon Bulls' Kuo Yong and the Chinatrust Whales' Miguel Saladin for the league's lead in total saves.
Offensively for the serpents, the heart of the order had little trouble seeing the ball as Lin "Wild Hog" Hong-yuan, Hsieh "the Ugly" Jia-shien, and Ivanon Coffie of the Netherlands each collected two hits to account for six of their team's nine in the game.
Taking the loss for the Bears was Morel, who surrendered the game-deciding runs in the eighth in a non-save situation. He is now 0-2 for the season with no saves and holds to his credit.
Whales 6, Bulls 4
A five-run third by an opportunistic Chinatrust lineup proved to be the clincher as they racked up six early runs and held on to beat the Bulls 6-4 in Taichung on Wednesday evening to salvage a 1-1 series split against the Bulls.
The Whales capitalized on a wild third by fast-fatiguing Bulls starter Shibakusa Hiroshi and reliever Lee Guo-ching, by sending 10 men to the plate to grind out four singles, a double and pair of walks for the five runs in the inning. The 38-year-old Shibakusa had pitched no more than two-and-two-thirds innings from a reliever's role prior to Wednesday's game.
Cheng Da-hong reached on a hit batsman and took third after a poor throw by the Whales catcher on his attempted steal to second before scoring on Tseng Jing-fong's groundout to short to give the Bulls a 1-0 in the opening frame.
Chen Jia-hong's solo shot to left promptly tied the game up at 1-1 in the bottom of the first before the Bulls skidded ahead in the second on Cheng Jau-hang's two-run homer that put his team ahead 3-1.
After the Whales blew the game wide open with the five-run third, the game suddenly turned into a pitching match with Lee Guo-ching keeping the Whales hitters at bay the rest of the way and Whales bullpen standouts Chu Wei-ming, Shen Yu-jeh and Saladin combining for six shutout frames to preserve the win.
Chu improved to 2-0 for the year with two-and-one-third innings of shutout relief on a pair of singles for the win, beating Shibakusa, who fell to an even 2-2 after starting off the season with a pair of wins.
Bulls 2, Whales 0
The Sinon Bulls blanked the Whales 2-0 in Douliou on Tuesday night thanks to a brilliant effort by Iba Tomokazu, who outpitched his counterpart Du Chang-wei of the Whales with eight shutout innings of three-hit ball before closer Kuo Yong-chih wrapped up the win for his league-leading fourth save of the year.
Equally effective was Du, who slipped slightly in a two-run third in which the Chinatrust defense came up short by committing two costly errors to set the second-year righty back by a pair of runs.
Bears 6, Cobras 4
The Bears started off the week with a 6-4 win over the Cobras in Chiayi on Tuesday night behind Lin Chih-sheng's perfect 4-for-4 hitting and Chen Chin-fong's impressive 3-for-4 night with a pair of RBIs.
Gary Rath went eight strong innings for the third straight start to win his fourth game of the season, allowing three runs (only one earned) on eight hits while fanning five and walking one.
Other than a three-hit fourth in which his defense also committed a deadly error that led to two unearned runs for the Cobras, the US southpaw was in control the entire way.
He currently leads the league in earned run average (ERA) with a miniscule 1.03.
Suffering the loss for the serpents was starter Kim Jebin of South Korea, who lasted just four-and-one-third innings and allowed four runs on nine hits to remain winless at 0-2.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very