Former Astro Henry Sosa continues success in CPBL, helps Guardians win opener

Henry Sosa, who pitched for the Houston Astros during the 2011 season, gave up one run on four hits and struck out five over seven innings as the Fubon Guardians defeated the Chinatrust Brothers by a score of 3-1 on Tuesday in the second game of the 2020 Chinese Professional Baseball League season.

The Taiwan-based CPBL originally moved its Opening Day from March 14 to April 11 because of the coronavirus. Although the first two games of the rescheduled 2020 season were postponed because of inclement weather, CPBL play began on Sunday, April 12, when the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions defeated the Brothers 4-1 in 11 innings.

CPBL games are currently being played behind closed doors with mascots and cheerleaders in attendance. There are cardboard cutouts and mannequins in certain seats at the stadiums to give the appearance of playing in front of fans.

The Guardians got on the board first in the top of the second inning as left fielder Gao Guohui homered off Brothers starter Jose de Paula, who pitched for the New York Yankees during the 2015 season. Zhang Zhengwei scored the Guardians’ second run in the third inning on a double by designated hitter Hu Jinlong.

Zhan Zixian led off the Brothers’ half of the fifth with a single. He advanced to third on Su Weida’s double before scoring on a fielder’s choice.

Guohui’s fielder’s choice in the top of the eighth accounted for the game’s final run. De Paula struck out six and gave up two runs on five hits over seven innings in the losing effort.

Guohui and Jinlong each had two hits for the Guardians.

The Brothers had runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Chen Hongwen was able to work himself out of the jam for the save.

Sosa spent the first half of the 2019 campaign with the Guardians before his contract was sold to the Korea Baseball Organization’s SK Wyverns. Prior to Tuesday’s start, Sosa was 8-2 in 12 CPBL starts with an earned run average of 1.56 and 85 strikeouts in 86.2 innings.

In his four 2019 starts against the Brothers, Sosa struck out 33 in 31 innings and sported a WHIP of 0.58.

All four CPBL teams will be in action on Wednesday as the Guardians (1-0) and Brothers (0-2) face off again and the Rakuten Monkeys play their season opener against the Lions (1-0).


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