Mon, Jul 18, 2011 - Page 20 News List

CPBL: Lions edge past Elephants on back-to-back singles

By Paul Huang  /  Contributing Reporter

Back-to-back singles by Pan “TAKE” Wu-hsiung and Kao Guo-ching scored the go-ahead runs in the top of the fifth inning as the Uni-President Lions defeated the Brother Elephants 3-1 at the Hsinchu Municipal Baseball Stadium last night to take the weekend series by a 2-1 margin.

The Lion’s Tsai Jing-hao struck out six while walking two over seven innings of one-run ball to pocket his fourth win of the season. It was the rookie hurler’s best outing by far as he baffled the Elephants’ hitters with an assortment of pitches that kept the men in the familiar golden uniform off balance most of the way. Other than a wild pitch in the bottom of the second that allowed the runner on third to score, Tsai was well on top of his game.

“[Tsai] definitely had all his pitches working tonight because we really didn’t have many pitches to swing at,” Elephant skipper Chen Rei-chen said after the game.

His troops were held to only one run a game in their two losses to the Lions over the weekend series.

Trailing 1-0 after two innings, the Lions’ hitters quickly went to work against Elephants reliever Guan Da-yuan as Yang Song-hsuan reached first on a fielder’s choice, stole second for his 13th stolen base of the year and scored on Lin Chih-shiang’s RBI single one batter later to tie the game at 1-all.

The score remained at 1-all through the fourth, before the Cats struck against Guan in the fifth on the strength of Pan and Kao’s run-scoring singles to make it 3-1.

Those were all the runs that either team scored as the pitchers dominated from the fifth on, with the help of two defenses that turned in a combined six double plays to keep the opposing offenses at bay.

Tsai cruised through the seventh without allowing another runner to reach second, before Kao Jien-san and Lin Yueh-ping chipped in a scoreless eighth and ninth respectively to preserve the win, while the Elephants bullpen did its part to keep their team in the game.

Guan ended up being charged with the loss for allowing all three of the Lions’ runs. The rookie right-hander is now 7-4 with an ERA of 3.86.

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