Kao Kuo-ching drove in the go-ahead run with a two-run blast in the tie-breaking third and starter Jeriome Robertson threw eight innings of three-run ball as the President Lions topped the Chinatrust Whales 7-3 on a wet Wednesday night in Tainan to win their series-opener for the week.
The victory marked the sixth-straight win for the American southpaw who joined the Lions in mid-July and quickly worked his way to become the top hurler in the rotation.
Even though Robertson allowed ten hits (over eight innings of work) for the first time in seven starts, he also struck out a season-high of eleven, several of which came with Whales runners in scoring positions, to keep the Whales from doing more damage at the plate.
PHOTO: HUANG CHIH-YUAN, TAIPEI TIMES
The rain-delayed contest that did not end until well past 10:30pm on Wednesday night had the home cats jumping on top early with three runs in the opening frame against Whales starter Derrick Van Dusen on back-to-back RBI singles by Kao, outfielder Kuo Dai-chi and a defensive error by Whales shortstop Wang Yi-min.
But the 3-0 Lions lead was soon erased when the Whales fought back in the top of the second on Chen Yong-tseh's run-scoring single before they knotted things up at 3-all with Huang Kwei-yu's RBI double and Chen Jia-hong's sacrifice-fly off Robertson.
With the game tied, the Lions looked to Kao and outfielder Liu Fu-hao for a pair of two-run homers to regain a 7-3 advantage, a lead they would keep for good with Robertson keeping the Whales offense at bay through the eighth before closer Tseng Yi-cheng wrapped up the win with a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation.
Game-loser Van Dusen remained winless (0-3) in three starts for the Whales, pitching two-plus innings of five-run ball (three earned) on four hits and three walks.
The American lefty saw his chances for a first win take a blow when his fellow hitters only managed to score three runs after loading the bases during the second and third against Robertson.
Cobras 4, Elephants 2
The Macoto Cobras doubled up on the Brother Elephants in a 4-2 win at Luodong on Wednesday to take Game two of the weekly series against their archrivals.
Macoto starter Chang Hsien-chih overcame a shaky first in which he allowed a sacrifice-fly to the Elephants' Chen Guan-ren after loading the bases on two hits and a walk, to win his ninth of the year.
The rookie right-hander allowed an Elephants hitter to reach safely in all but one of the seven innings he pitched, but was able to stay out of harm's way by allowing only one more run before being relieved after the seventh.
He served up a solo homer to Brother's Peng "Chia Chia" Cheng-min in the sixth to help the Elephants cut the lead down to 4-2 at that point.
As for the serpents, all four of their runs came during the game-deciding third where they capitalized on a pair of walks issued by Elephants starter Chuck Smith, the second one with the bases loaded to force in a run, a clutch RBI single by Hsieh "the Ugly" Jia-shien, and two sacrifice-flies to account for all their scoring.
Reliever Chuang Pei-chuan threw five effective innings of one-hit ball to rescue game-loser Smith, but it was too little too late for the men in the golden uniforms as they dropped two straight to the Cobras.
Cobras 6, Elephants 2
Seven shutout innings by Lin "Little Chick" En-yu propelled the Cobras past the Elephants in a 6-2 final at Luodong on Tuesday night to start off Macoto's week with a bang.
The second-year righty, who won the Rookie of the Year and the league's Most Valuable Player honors last season, earned his 15th win of the year to fall into a three-way tie with La New's Kenny Rayborn and Wu Si-yo for the league's lead in total victories.
Lin's ten-strikeout night also added to his league-best mark of 172, putting him 21 "K's" shy of the single-season record (203) set by former Cobra Lin Ying-jeh in 2004.
The Cobras offense took control of the game early with five combined runs through the first three innings to put the Elephants in a deep hole.
And with the Little Chick on the mound, the 5-0 cushion proved insurmountable for Brother.
It was not until the top of the ninth, after Lin had left the game with a commanding 6-0 lead that the Elephants finally plated two meaningless runs off newcomer Robert Averett of the US, avoiding what would have been an embarrassing shutout.
Taking the loss for the Elephants was starter Yeh Yong-jeh who lasted less than three innings with five earned runs for his fifth loss of the year.
The rookie righty was no match for Lin on a night the Elephants bats were dead silent.
Anibal Sanchez pitched a no-hitter in his 13th Major League Baseball career start on Wednesday night, benefiting from defensive help from three teammates to lead the Florida Marlins over the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-0.
"This is the best moment of my life," the 22-year-old Venezuelan said.
One of four rookies in the Marlins' rotation, Sanchez (7-2) walked four and pitched around an error. He struck out six and threw 103 pitches.
The previous no-hitter in the majors was a perfect game by Arizona's Randy Johnson, who beat Atlanta 2-0 on May 18, 2004.
Mets 4, Braves 1 Mets 8, Braves 0
In New York, Shawn Green busted out of his slump with a huge day at the plate, Oliver Perez pitched his second career shutout for his first win since May and the New York Mets completed a doubleheader sweep of Atlanta.
Giants 3, Reds 2
In Cincinnati, Jonathan Sanchez (3-0), who had made 22 relief appearances, allowed one run and two hits in 5 2-3 innings in his first MLB start, striking out seven and walking two. Mike Stanton pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save, completing a six-hitter.
Nationals 7, Cardinals 6
In Washington, Jose Vidro ended a game of comebacks, lining a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth against Jason Isringhausen (4-8), who has 10 blown saves in 43 chances.
In AL action it was:
* Mariners 5, Tigers 4
* Athletics 9, Rangers 6
* Angels 8, Orioles 4
* White Sox 8, Red Sox 1
* Devil Rays 4, Twins 2
* Yankees 8, Royals 3
* Blue Jays 3, Indians 2
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