Deng powers cobras past Whales to end losing skid

BASEBALL:The Whales lost their third game in a row, while a solid homer streak from Peng Cheng-min failed to save the Elephants from the Bulls


Fri, Apr 27, 2007 - Page 24

Deng Shih-yang's liner up the middle with men at the corners in the top of the fifth put the Macoto Cobras ahead 4-1 as the serpents held on to beat the Chinatrust Whales 4-3 in Sinjhuang on Wednesday night and snap a two-game losing skid.

Hsieh "the Ugly" Jia-shien's also homered for the Cobras, extending his hitting streak to nine games to back up starter Kim Jebin for his first win of the season.

The game began with the Cobras taking a 2-0 lead against Whales starter Lorenzo Barcelo in the top of the second when Wang Chuan-jia led off the inning with a rare triple and scored on Deng's sacrifice-fly on the ensuing play before Kuo Ming-ren's RBI triple made it 2-0 in favor of the league leaders.

Hsieh's tower blast over the right-field wall gave the Cobras a 3-0 advantage an inning later, before the Whales broke through for their first run of the game in the bottom of the third on Jee Jung-lin's one-run double off Kim to make it 3-1.

After Deng put the Cobras ahead 4-1 in the fifth, the Whales were able to add another run on the board against Kim; this time on Huang Kwei-yu's sacrifice-fly off reliever Huang Chin-chih after the Whales led off the inning with a double off Kim by Jee that chased the South Korean hurler.

With his team trailing 4-2, Chen Jia-hong's liner to the left-center gap scored the Whales' third run of the game to make it 4-3. But that was as close as they would come as the Cobras bullpen retired four of the final five Whales batters to secure the win.

Losing for the first time this season was Barcelo, who allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits, including Hsieh's third home run of the season, over four-and-two-thirds innings of work.

Lefty setup man Shen Yu-jeh kept the Whales in the game with four-and-one-third innings of one-hit relief. But the Whales bats simply did not produce enough runs to reward the outstanding effort by Shen as they dropped the third game in a row.

Bulls 4, Elephants 3

Peng "Chia Chia" Cheng-min drove a pair of homers out of the ballpark for the Elephants, but it was still not enough for them to beat the Sinon Bulls, losing 4-3 at Taichung on Wednesday evening.

The soft-spoken former batting champ for the Elephants tied La New Bears great Chen Chin-fong for most homers in the league (8) with a solo blast leading off the top of the second and a two-run shot in the eighth that brought his team to within a run of the home Bulls in a 4-3 game.

But that was all the runs that the Elephants could muster against the Bulls pen as ace closer Kuo Yong-chih turned back the final three Brother hitters in a perfect ninth to record his league-best sixth save of the year.

Alfredo Gonzalez improved to 1-3 for the year with the win, allowing a run on five hits over seven strong innings to beat his counterpart Liao Yu-cheng, who threw five-and-one-third innings of two-run ball (only one earned) before being relieved by the Elephants bullpen as he remained winless for the year at 0-2.