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.
PHOTO: HUANG CHIH-YUAN, TAIPEI TIMES
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.
Su was credited with his first win of the year, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out six and walking two to beat the Bears' Rath, who fell to 10-4 for the season with the loss. The US lefty gave up seven runs (six earned) over four-and-two-third frames.
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first