Sun, Sep 30, 2007 - Page 23 News List

CPBL: Sloppy play helps Bears beat Cobras in Kaohsiung

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

The Macoto Cobras' Kuo Ming-ren tags Tseng Hao-chu of the La New Bears' too late as Tseng slides safely into second base during the fourth inning of their game in Kaohsiung on Friday. The Bears won 8-7.

PHOTO: HUANG CHIH-YUAN, TAIPEI TIMES

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.

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.

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