Riding the red-hot bats of an explosive offense that scored 11 runs two nights in a row, the La New Bears defeated the Chinatrust Whales at home in Kaohsiung in Games 2 and 3 to win their first series of the second half of Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League season in convincing manner.
After losing a 2-1 heartbreaker to the Whales to start the three-game series last Thursday, the Bears returned by putting up eight runs in the first inning en route to an 11-8 final that lasted nearly four hours on Friday.
Five of the nine starters had a multi-hit game against the Whales staff, led by second baseman Lin Chih-sheng's 4-for-5 hitting with a pair of RBIs.
The Whales did not go away without staging a comeback rally as they scored eight runs of their own, five of which were against Bears starter Wade Travis, to chase the American righty in the third inning. But the early deficit was simply too much to overcome.
Bears reliever Dai Long-shui won for the third time this year, pitching 4-2/3 innings of one-run ball, while Whales starter Kao Jien-san dropped to 1-3 for the year with the loss.
Bears 11, Whales 3
A six-run fifth inning by the Bears snapped a 3-3 tie that sent the hosts to their second straight 11-run output in as many games, thanks to a two-run homer by cleanup man Victor Rodriguez and left fielder Tseng Hen-chang's three-run, base-clearing triple, both off Whales' reliever Shen Yu-jeh.
Shen saw his ERA skyrocketed from 1.91 to 2.60 for the six runs that he yielded over 3-1/3 innings of relief in a losing cause, while Bears starter Chris Wright picked up his first win of the season for allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits in five innings of work.
Elephants 4, Bulls 3
The Brother Elephants avoided a clean sweep by the Sinon Bulls with a close 4-3 win over the defending champs in Tienmu on Saturday, as they continued to search for a consistent winning formula.
Elephants closer Wu Bao-shien, who blew a save opportunity in Hsinchu on Friday that ultimately resulted in a 2-1 loss for the Elephants, made sure that his team's 4-1 lead which had dwindled to just a run after he got the hitter to ground out to short for the second out in the ninth, would hold as he struck out the final Bulls batter to preserve the win for starter Muto Jun Ichiro.
Offensively for the Elephants, outfielder Chen Huai-shan's three-run triple off game-loser Bradley Guy in the four-run fourth was the difference in the game.
Cobras versus Lions
Typhoon Haitang prevented the Macoto Cobras from going for a three-game sweep of the President Lions in their series finale in Luodong on Sunday.
Cobras 7, Lions 1
The serpents struck early and often in their 7-1 win over the Lions at Hsinchu on Thursday behind the productive bat of Wilton Veras, whose 3-for-4 night with four RBIs led the way for an attack that had averaged 6.6 runs per game in their past five contests.
Only one of the nine hits by the big cats managed to knock home their sole run of the game as they left 10 runners stranded against Cobras starter Lin Ying-jeh in his ninth win of the year.
Cobras cleanup hitter Hsieh Jia-shien overtook the league's lead in home runs with his 16th shot of the season, beating the previous mark set by former Lions threat Israel Alcantara.
The Lions also committed a season-high five errors in the game.