Alfredo Gonzalez pitched one-run ball well into the eighth inning and Hsu Guo-long hit a towering shot to left-center for a two-run homer to help the Sinon Bulls double up the Macoto Cobras in a 4-2 decision in Sinjhuang on Monday evening, extending the Bulls' winning streak to three in a row.
The Dominican right-hander shook off a three-hit first that saw him give up just a run and two-hit the first-half champs over the next six-and-a-third innings en route to his eighth win of the year.
Hsu's two-run blast in the top of the fourth ended up being the game-winning hit and was the third-year first baseman's second straight clutch swing, making him the biggest contributor to the Bulls' three-game win streak.
After Lin "Wild Hog" Hong-yuan's RBI single knocked in the Cobras' first run in the bottom of the first to give his team a quick 1-0 lead, the Bulls would answer with Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan's 16th home run of the season, a solo shot over the leftfield wall, to even the game up at 1-1.
Hsu's two-run shot in the fourth made it 3-1 in favor of the Bulls following a scoreless third. The Bulls eventually added an insurance run in the seventh on an erroneous throw to third by the Cobras catcher that scored the runner all the way from second.
Trailing by three, the Cobras would threaten in the eighth with back-to-back singles from Kuo Ming-ren and Yang Rei-chih off lefty reliever Kurita Yusuke to place runners on first and second with one out and veteran slugger Wang Chuan-jia at the plate.
But Kurita was able to escape the inning unharmed by getting Wang to bounce a hard chopper to second that resulted in a timely inning-ending double play.
The Cobras would muster one final rally in the ninth with a run on a single and double off Bulls closer Kuo Yong-chih. But that was as close as they got, with Kuo Yong-chih retiring the final two hitters on soft flies to short and left to preserve the win for Gonzalez.
Picking up the loss on behalf of the Cobras was starter Andy Van Hekken, who allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits over seven-and-a-third innings of work. It was the US lefty's second straight quality start since his Taiwanese debut on Aug. 21, even though he still does not have a win to show for them.