Home runs helped the Chinatrust Brothers complete a three-game sweep of the Uni-President Lions and claim first-place in Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) second-half table.
In the weekend’s other match, the visiting Lamigo Monkeys took two out of three in the series against the EDA Rhinos at Kaohsiung’s Cheng Ching Lake Baseball Stadium. Lamigo infielder Kuo Yen-wen saw his record hitting streak stopped at the series opener on Friday when he went zero-for-four on the night.
A new CPBL record of hitting home runs in 11 consecutive games was set by the Brothers, who will look to extend the streak in contests this week.
Photo: Chang Chung-yi, Taipei Times
In the series finale against the Lions in Taichung on Sunday night, the Brothers’ left-handed hitters did most of the damage in their victory.
Right fielder Chang Cheng-wei, third baseman Hsu Hung-chi and center fielder Chang Chih-hao each cranked out one home run early in the game.
The Brothers seized a quick 6-0 lead by the second inning, on their way to a 9-6 triumph over the Lions. Young right-hander Cheng Kai-wen bagged his ninth win of the season by surrendering only one run in 6-1/3 innings against the Lions.
“Everyone has contributed to our recent winning streak. Our coaches have reminded the players to focus on pitch selection, and to not leave runners in scoring positions. I hope the home runs keep coming, because our goal is to capture the second-half title,” Brothers coach Wu Fu-lian said after the game.
On Saturday, veteran cleanup man Peng Cheng-min’s late homer proved the difference for the Brothers, as they edged the Lions by one run.
Peng, the team’s talismanic leader, opened the account for his first blast of the season to settle the game in the eighth inning with the score level at seven apiece.
Peng drove a shot over the centerfield fence, giving the Brothers an 8-7 victory.
Jim Negrych of the US and left-handed slugger Chou Ssu-chi also homered for the Brothers in the contest.
On Sunday in Kaohsiung, the Lamigo Monkeys left it late, recording one run apiece in the eighth and ninth frame to defeat the EDA Rhinos 3-2. Lamigo right-hander Wang Yi-cheng secured his 10th win, giving up two runs over eight innings.
In the second game of the series on Saturday, the Monkeys defeated the Rhinos 4-2, with homers by the Monkeys’ Lin Hung-yu, and the Rhinos’ Lin Yi-chuan and Kao Kuo-hui.
SIGNS OF CALM: After his third explanation for his absence, which has drawn the ire of fans and politicians, some critics said his latest apology seemed sincere Lionel Messi denied his absence from a match in Hong Kong two weeks ago that angered China was a political snub, but was caused by an injury. The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner is idolized by fans in China, but stayed on the bench during Inter Miami’s 4-1 win in a pre-season tour match against a Hong Kong select XI on Feb. 4. A near 40,000 sellout crowd, who had paid upwards of HK$1,000 (US$128) to see the 36-year-old superstar in action, chanted “refund,” gave thumbs-down signs and booed Messi and the team’s co-owner David Beckham after the final whistle. Some nationalist politicians interpreted
A leading Australian equestrian’s buildup to a fourth Olympics was thrown into disarray yesterday after he was stood down from competition for wearing a “mankini” swimsuit during a showjumping event. Three-time Olympic medalist Shane Rose wore the skimpy fluorescent orange outfit — popularized in the movie Borat — on his horse during a competition near Sydney earlier this month where riders were encouraged to wear “extraordinary costumes.” Rose, 50, said on social media that he had been stood down by governing body Equestrian Australia (EA) while it conducts a review after receiving complaints. “I am truly sorry if I have offended anyone,” Rose
Officials from the South Korean national soccer association (KFA) yesterday recommended that Jurgen Klinsmann be fired as head coach of the South Korea national team after their semi-final exit at the Asian Cup and reports of infighting among star players. Klinsmann was already under heavy criticism after South Korea’s upset 2-0 semi-final loss to Jordan on Tuesday last week and pressure intensified following media reports of a spat between captain Son Heung-min and young star Lee Kang-in during the tournament. At an Asian Cup campaign review at the association’s headquarters in Seoul, the eight-member National Team Committee talked to Klinsmann via videoconference
SUPERSTAR SHOWDOWN: WNBA single-season three-point record holder Ionescu said the shoot-out would show young girls and boys that ‘if you can shoot, you can shoot’ Stephen Curry on Saturday sank his last four shots from the right corner to defeat Sabrina Ionescu 29-26 in a three-point NBA-WNBA Challenge at the NBA All-Star festivities. Ionescu set the score to beat, matching the best numbers by any player in the NBA Three-Point Contest, only for Curry to rally late for the victory, then hug Ionescu as both celebrated a successful effort. “I knew I had to get hot,” Curry said of his closing run to win the challenge champion’s belt. The first-ever shoot-out of the sexes was a groundbreaking showdown between elite guards — Golden State’s Curry, the NBA’s all-time