Luo Ming-ching's line-drive single to shallow-right, coupled with President Lions outfielder Darryl Brinkley's fielding error, cleared the bases for the Macoto Cobras in a three-run eighth, as they blanked the Lions 4-0 in Hsinchuang on Wednesday night.
The longtime Lions icon, who was unexpectedly released by the Lions prior to the start of this season, made sure his former club would miss his presence even more by letting his bat do all the talking in nailing down the big win for the Cobras.
After the Cobras took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on second-baseman Deng Shih-yang's RBI single, neither team was able to break through for a score until Luo's late-game magic that blew the game wide open in the game-deciding eighth.
Starter Yang Chi-jia was magnificent in seven shutout innings against a Lions attack that managed only three scattered singles off him, while being fanned a half-dozen times.
Starter-turned-closer Lin En-yu then followed with two innings of near-perfect relief, including striking out the side against the top of the Lions order in the eighth to keep the shutout intact for the Cobras.
A lack of run support hurt Lions starter Jose Espinal again, as he dropped to 1-3 for the year, despite pitching 7-1/3 innings of five-hit ball and allowing one earned run in the process.
His offensive mates have averaged only one run in three of his past four starts, making it literally impossible to win even with his respectable ERA of 2.7.
Lions 6, Cobras 3
The Lions opened fire against Macoto lefty Lin Ying-jeh as they doubled up on the serpents in Tuesday's series opener at Hsinchuang by a final of 6-3.
The heart of the Lions order took no mercy against last season's ERA king by batting a combined 6-for-14 with six RBIs, led by Brinkley's 2-for-5 night with three RBIs.
Leadoff man Yang Seng also flashed some brilliance with his bat by hitting a perfect 4-for-4 for the game, good for the game-MVP honor on the night.
Setup men Tseng Yi-cheng and Kao Long-wei provided the Lions the necessary mid-inning relief by one-hitting the serpents in three innings before closer Mike Garcia sealed the deal in the ninth for his 18th save of the year to help rookie starter Lin Yueh-ping improve to 6-3 for the year with the win.
Mario Encarnacion accounted for all three of the Cobras runs by belting his 16th home run of the season, a two-run shot off Lin in the fourth, and knocking in another run in the fifth with a bouncer to left.
Bulls 3, Bears 2
Centerfielder Tseng Hua-wei's shoestring grab robbed La New Bears' Chen Fong-min of a potential game-winning double, ending Tuesday night's 3-2 thriller at Kaohsiung in favor of the Sinon Bulls.
The defending champs watched the home Bears reduce a 3-1 lead to 3-2 with a run scored off closer Osvaldo Martinez on three singles and place runners at the corner in the bottom of the ninth before Tseng's fine defensive grab saved the day.
Reliever Yang Jien-fu, last season's championship series MVP, pocketed the win for his 3-1/3 innings of one-hit relief, earning his first victory of the season since coming off the disabled list last weekend.
Yang had not pitched since suffering from an unspecified injury on opening day, March 12, which had kept him off the Sinon staff until last week.
La New starter Chris Wright was dealt his sixth loss of the year in a complete-game showing that could have easily been a win had it not been for Tseng's fine defensive effort.