Kao Wei's sloppy handling of a routine grounder that led to a poor throw to first allowed the winning run to score from third in the bottom of the ninth for the La New Bears as they edged past the Macoto Cobras 8-7 in Kaohsiung on Friday evening for their fourth straight victory.
The normally sure-handed Cobras third baseman -- who leads the league with the fewest errors committed among all active third basemen with 12 errors in 246 chances -- failed to field the ball cleanly and was forced to hurry his throw to first. The throw sailed wide, enabling the Bears runner on third to easily score the game-winning run.
The win not only extended the Bears' winning streak to four, but more importantly kept their title aspirations alive as they trailed the top-ranked President Lions by two games with seven remaining in the regular season.
PHOTO: HUANG CHIH-YUAN, TAIPEI TIMES
Behind a stellar start by lefty ace Hsu Yu-wei, the Bears built a commanding 7-0 lead after five innings of play, highlighted by Raul Gonzalez's two-run homer in the third and Shih Chih-wei's two-run single with two outs in the fifth.
The tide would turn against Hsu after he three-hit the Cobras over six shutout innings, as Chen Yuan-jia and Huang Shih-hao opened the top of the seventh with back-to-back singles.
Hsu exited and in came Hsu Chih-hua, who did not fare any better as he gave up two more singles to score the Cobras' first run in the game before they tacked on four more in the same inning to trim the Bears lead to 7-5.
The Cobras would score again in the eighth on a two-out single by Kuo Ming-ren to make it 7-6 before tying things up at 7-all in the top of the ninth on Huang's opposite-field single, before losing the heartbreaker on Kao's miscue.
Picking up the win for the Bears was reliever Huang Jung-chung, who pitched his team out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth despite allowing the Cobras to score the tying run in the ninth.
Pocketing the loss was Cobras reliever Lee Ming-jin, who allowed the unearned run to score in the bottom of the ninth for his fourth setback of the season.
Elephants 5, Lions 3
A solid effort by a stingy bullpen cooled off the previously red-hot Lions' offense to give the Elephants a 5-3 win in Douliou on Friday, halting the Lions' seven-game winning streak.
Brother starter Wu Bao-shien kept the underdogs in the game by allowing just three runs to a potent Lions lineup that had averaged over 9.4 runs per game over a seven-game stretch through the fifth before turning the game over to his bullpen.
Wang Jing-li tossed a scoreless sixth despite loading up the bases on a single and two walks, Joey Dawley blanked the Lions over one-and-one-third innings and Todd Moser wrapped it up by recording the final five outs in the game to secure Wu's first win of the year.
Offensively for the Elephants, the night belonged to game-MVP Chen Rei-cheng, whose two-run double sparked a three-run third for his team as it took a rare 4-0 lead.
Leadoff man Huang Cheng-wei also had his second three-hit game of the year by going 3-for-5 to improve his average to an even .300 for the year.
Tagged with his fifth loss of the year was Lions starter Chang Chih-chiang, who did not look particularly sharp with five runs on eleven hits over six innings of work.
The fifth-year submariner out of the National Taiwan College of Physical Education has lost four of his last six starts to potentially jeopardize his starting role.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on