Lu Jiangang has made his share of baseball history. On Thursday, the Tianjin Lions right-hander fell one out short of a historic victory in the opening game of the Asia Series 2008.
Lu, who became China's first pro ballplayer in 1999 when he signed with the Chunichi Dragons, allowed two runs in the ninth inning in a 7-4 loss to Taiwan's Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions at Tokyo Dome.
"This really hurts," said Lu, who took the loss when Pan Wu-hsiung hit a three-run sayonara homer.
Lu, who pitched well here against his former Dragon teammates last year, said this time was a little more special.
"Against the Dragons, I was a starter for the national team, this time I'm a reliever for my club," said the Tianjin native. "I wanted to win so badly, for the sake of baseball in Tianjin."
Lu, who was the winning pitcher in China's only Olympic victory, an 8-7 win over Taiwan, worked 3-1/3 scoreless innings before allowing Taiwan's Lions to tie it in the ninth on Kuo Tai-chi's two-out RBI single.