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04/19/2005 Archived Entry: "CPBL News: Cobras' venom prevents Martinez record"

CPBL News: Cobras' venom prevents Martinez record 2005-04-19 /Taiwan News, Contributing Writer / By Jason Pan

The Sinon Bulls had the champagne on ice, ready for a record-breaking week, however the Macoto Cobras gave them the "snake's eyes" in the recent two contests in Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League.

Playing host to the visiting Cobras club in Taichung, the Sinon Bulls lost 6-4 on Friday as Dominican pitcher Osvaldo Martinez was unsuccessful in his bid to become the first man in CPBL to gain 101 victories.

Going for the record

Martinez reached the century-mark in pitching wins last week to tie with Lions manager Hsieh Chang-hern on the CPBL all-time list.

Both the Sinon club and the league had prepared an award ceremony to mark this record-setting achievement in the event of him prevailing on the night.

Ahead 2-1 at half-way mark on Friday, the 6th inning would prove to be troublesome for Martinez. The Dominican right-hander lost his normally steady control, and was felt the venomous bites of the Cobra batters for four hits with three runs scored.

With two men on, Sinon set-up man Kuo Yong-chi took over from Martinez. However, Kuo leaked another run on a hit and an issued walk for the Cobras to go ahead 5-2 at that point.

The Sinon Bulls replied with a run in the bottom-half of the inning to make it 5-3. Then both sides added another run to the tally to make the final score 6-4.

Cobras'Japanese starter Sato Hideki (2-3) pocketed his second victory of the season, while Martinez (4-1) suffered only his first loss this year, and snapped a personal 8-game winning streak that began last season.

Wrapping up their 3-game series last night in Hsinchu, the Bulls would again fall victims to the deadly Cobra attack.

Getting started in a hurry, the Macoto Cobras struck early in the 1st inning. With one runner on, first baseman Hsieh "The Taiwan Plumber" Jia-hsien slammed a homer against Sinon lefty Jeffery Andra to put the Cobras ahead 2-0.

Then Cobras newcomer Mario Encarnacion, an ex-major leaguer with the Colorado Rockies, made a most memorable debut in Taiwan.

Flying start

He took aim at the very first pitch at his first CPBL at-bat and drilled it over the right-field wall for a solo shot, to make it 3-0 in the 1st inning.

In the 3rd inning with a 4-0 lead, Encarnacion came up against Sinon reliever Ho Chi-hsien for his second at-bat and he clubbed another solo homer, this time to the left-field bleachers for a 5-0 score.

The Bulls tried to mount a come-back to score 3 runs on a walk and 3 consecutive hits in the 4th inning and added one more in the 5th, thus narrowing the gap to within one run at 5-4.

However, Cobras pinch-hitter Yang Rei-chi provided an insurance run with an RBI-double in the 8th for the final score of 6-4.

Macoto lefty starter Lin "Three Hair" Ying-jei picked up his 2nd win of the season, scattering 8 hits with 1 walk and 4 strikeouts over 6 and 1/3 innings, while giving up 2 earned runs.

In other CPBL action last night, the Chinatrust Whales defeated the President Lions 4-2 in Tainan and charged to top of the standings.

Whales rally

Down by a 2-1 margin, the "Killer Whales" rallied for 3 runs in the 7th inning to go ahead 4-2. Closer Dario Veras then shut down the Lions in the final two innings to give his team the win.

And in another contest on Friday, the Brother Elephants doubled up on the La New Bears 4-2, giving the Elephants their fourth straight victory and moving them up to 4th place in the standings.

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