Iba Tomokazu pitched six innings of two-run ball and Chang Jien-ming drove in three runs on a 3-for-5 night with a pair of doubles and a homer to lead the Sinon Bulls to a huge 10-2 win over the Macoto Cobras in Sinjhuang on Monday evening.
The Japanese veteran right-hander shook off three straight no-decisions on top of three losses since mid-July by keeping the Cobras lineup to a pair of runs on nine hits to earn his ninth win of the season with the Bulls.
Chang, a former outfielder who spent nearly five months on the disabled list, returned to action in his newly acquired designated hitter role by racking up his fourth multi-hit game in eight starts to lead the Bulls attack.
This makeup game between two lowly placed teams saw the Bulls wasting little time getting to Cobras starter Carlos Castillo with two quick runs in the opening frame on an infield single by Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan and a liner to left by Hsu Guo-long, before tacking on a run each over the next three innings to open up a 5-0 lead.
Trailing by five, the Cobras finally got on the board in the fifth on a two-run double by Wang Chuan-jia with the bases loaded and two outs. A great relay throw by the Sinon defense gunned down the runner who tried to score all the way from first to end the Cobras' scoring threat.
The play turned out to be crucial because those were the only runs that the Cobras would score the entire game, even though they managed to connect for at least two base hits over the next two innings.
While the defense put an end to the Cobras' rally, the Bulls offense continued its dominance with three more runs in the seventh, courtesy of Chang Jien-ming's three-run homer off reliever Chen Jia-hong to make it 8-2 before topping it off with two more runs in the ninth to conclude the scoring.
Picking up the win for the Bulls was Iba, who improved to 9-8 for the year after getting three no-decisions in his last three starts despite allowing less than a run per game over the same span.
Suffering the defeat on behalf of the Cobras was Castillo, whose second start as a Cobra was a solid one as three of the five runs he allowed were unearned due to a pair of errors by his defense.
The loss by the Cobras was their fourth in a row and ninth in their last twelve, giving the first-half champs little to cheer about as they try to finish the season strongly.