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04/19/2005 Archived Entry: "CPBL News: Whales sweep Lions"

CPBL News: Whales sweep Lions 2005-04-19 /Taiwan News, Contributing Writer / By Jason Pan

With another late inning rally to reverse a deficit, the Chinatrust Whales torpedoed the President Lions on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep and maintain their slight edge atop Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League.

Things went swimmingly for the Whales, who topped the Lions by a total of four runs in the 2-1 (Thursday), 4-2 (Saturday) and 6-5 (Sunday) victories. They have their pitching staff to thank.

Manager Hsu Sheng-ming has found a nearly unhittable relief rotation of left-handed set-up man Sheng "The Chubby Kid" Yu-jei and Dominican closer Dario Veras. Sheng, who made 11 appearances in middle relief, leads the league with an ERA of 0.48, while Veras is second with a 1.06 mark from his 10 late-inning appearances.

The two Whales pitchers played their usual roles in all three wins over the Lions, with Sheng setting up Veras' two wins and a save to up his record to 4-1 with five saves.

On Sunday, however, the Whales' bats also contributed. Down 4-1 to President after four innings, Chinatrust erupted for four runs over the next three stanzas to tie the game.

Whales' shortstop Cheng Chang-ming knocked in three of the four runs, one when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two with a shot that cleared the center field railing but was ruled a double after the ball bounced off the tarp in the stands back on to the field.

The Whales won the game in the bottom of the ninth against the Lions ace closer Michael Garcia. With one out and men on the corners, Garcia threw a wild pitch as Kuo Tai-yung was moving toward the plate on a suicide squeeze, allowing Kuo to score easily.

In the other contest on Sunday, the Brother Elephants took a page from the Whales by rallying for four late runs to erase a 4-1 deficit and edge the La New Bears 5-4 at Kaohsiung's Cheng Ching Lake Stadium.

Managers fined

The CPBL announced that Macoto Cobra manager Kaku Taigen, a former pitching great for Japan's Seibu Lions, was fined NT$20,000 for using abusive language against the first base umpire during a game against the La New Bears on April 10. Kaku was ejected during his team's 4-1 defeat.

The league also fined La New Bears' manager Hong Yi-chung NT$40,000 for his outburst in a game on April 7 between the Bears and the Cobras. Hong was ejected in the game's sixth inning when he contested a strike call, challenged the umpires to a fight and then tossed a water jug on to the field. The game ended in a 9-9 draw.

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