Thu, Jul 26, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Lions roll past Bulls as Whales humble Bears

BACK ON TRACK While the Lions extended their winning streak to seven in a row, the killer Whales massacred the hapless Bears on their own turf

BY PAUL HUANG  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Carlos Villalobos of the Chinatrust Whales connects for one of his three hits in Tuesday's game against the La New Bears in Kaohsiung.

PHOTO: HUANG CHIH-YUAN, TAIPEI TIMES

Second half action resumed in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) on Tuesday with the President Lions rolling past the Sinon Bulls in a 4-2 win in Tainan that extended the league leaders' winning streak to seven in a row.

Pete Munro went the distance for the home Lions by allowing two runs (only one earned) on eight singles while fanning six and walking none to earn his ninth victory of the year. The US southpaw has stretched his consecutive innings without issuing a walk to 38 innings and counting, overtaking the old mark of 30-and-two-thirds set by Rusty Meacham of the Chinatrust Whales in 2004.

Munro's outstanding showing not only opened the Lions' four-game week in grand fashion, but also gave his bullpen a much needed rest that could mean the difference of a game in a close match.

Leading an opportunistic Lions attack by knocking in all four of their runs on the night was game-MVP Yang Seng, whose fifth homer of the year, a three-run blast over the right-center wall off Sinon starter Iba Tomokazu in the second, gave his team a quick 3-0 advantage before a run-scoring double in the eighth made it 4-1 in favor of the home team.

Yang's three-run shot proved to be vital as the pitchers dominated the hitters the rest of the way by allowing only three combined runs over the next seven frames.

After Cheng Da-hong's sacrifice fly off Munro in the top of the fourth cut the Lions lead to 3-1, neither offense was able to produce another run again until the bottom of the eighth, when Yang struck again with an RBI double to the right-center gap.

The Bulls made things interesting in the top of the ninth against Munro by hammering out two singles to place runners on first and second before Hsu Guo-long's pinch-hit blooper to shallow right dropped for an RBI single that made it 4-2. But with the tying run on first and two outs, Munro managed to get the final Sinon batter to groundout to third, thanks to a spectacular grab by third baseman Tilson Brito, to end the game.

Picking up the tough loss for the visiting Bulls was Iba, who also went the distance on four runs and 11 hits for his fifth defeat of the season. The Japanese veteran pitched well enough for the win, but fell victim to a lack of run support.

Whales 14, Bears 2

The Chinatrust Whales teed off against the La New Bears staff by pounding out a season-high 14 runs on 20 hits to humble the defending champs in a 14-2 road win in Kaohsiung on Tuesday evening.

The win snapped a three-game losing skid for the marine creatures while cooling off the Bears by halting their recent four-game winning streak.

Six different Whales hitters had multi-hit games on the night with game-MVP Cheng Chang-ming's 3-for-4 effort with a solo homer leading the way.

Carlos Villalobos also batted 3-for-4 with three RBIs to up his RBI total to 11 in 13 games, making the Colombian native one of the most productive hitters in the lineup.

The contest began with the killer Whales ringing up seven runs against Bears starter Gary Rath through the first five innings, highlighted by a four-run fifth that saw the Whales send eighth men to the plate.

Huang "Easy" Long-yi's bases-clearing two-run triple off Whales starter Su Tseh-yi in the bottom of the fifth finally got the Bears on the board. But that was as close as the Bears would come as the Whales erupted for seven unanswered runs to close out the massacre.

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