Chu Hong-seng's two-run home run off Chinatrust Whales reliever Chu Wei-ming broke a one-all tie in the top of the ninth for the Brother Elephants as they beat the Whales 4-1 in Sinjhuang on Tuesday night to open this week's play with a win.
The classic pitchers' duel between the Elephants' Yofu Tetsu and the Whales' Steve Smyth went through six scoreless innings before the Elephants drew first blood on catcher Chen Rei-chang's run-scoring single to right with two outs off Whales reliever Edwin Minaya in the top of the seventh.
The Elephants' lead would last just an inning as the home Whales answered with an equalizer in the bottom of the eighth on outfielder Chi Jung-lin's blooper single to left off Yofu that evened things up at 1-1.
The win gave Yofu his fourth victory of the season to tie him with the Sinon Bulls' Clint Weibl for the league's lead, while the loss by Chu dropped the righty to an even 2-2 record for the year.
Offensively for the Elephants, Fong Sheng-shien's 3-for-4 night led a resurging lineup that also included former batting champ Peng "Chia Chia" Cheng-min, who went 2-for-4 in his first game since returning from a season-ending wrist injury a year ago.
Bears 6, Lions 3
The La New Bears opened their four-game visit to the President Lions with a 6-3 win in Tainan on Wednesday night.
Helped by a five-run fifth that turned a 0-3 deficit into a 5-3 lead, the Bears let off four innings of frustration by batting around the order against Lions starter Pan "Du Du" Wei-luen to deal the Loins ace his second loss of the season.
Canadian slugger Todd Betts singled to lead off the fifth for the Bears and scored two batters later on a groundout to second by Tseng Hao-ju to set Pan back after the Lions starter had retired the first 12 hitters he saw over four perfect innings.
Back-to-back doubles by Shih Chih-wei and Tsai Jien-wei, each good for a pair of runs with two outs, then put the Bears ahead 5-3 as Pan suddenly found himself trailing in a game for the first time in three games. The last time Pan trailed in a game was against the Elephant on April 11.
Betts' one-run double off Lions reliever Cheng Bo-ren in the eighth added an insurance run for the Bear to cap all the scoring for the night.
Bears starter Gustavo Martinez improved to 2-2 for the year with five-and-one-third innings of three-run ball. The Dominican right-hander was not particularly dominant in allowing six hits and five walks. But thanks to reliever Hsu Wen-hsiung, whose three-and-two-thirds innings of perfect rescue not only preserved the win for Martinez, but also earned Hsu him his third save of the season, en route to a game-MVP honor.
Offensively for the home cats, two first-inning runs via a pair of RBI groundouts by American newcomer Bryant Nelson and Lin Hong-yuan set them off to a good start which they failed to build on.
Kevin Mench hit a grand slam, but Francisco Cordero blew another save and Jay Payton hit a two-run single in the 10th inning for the Oakland Athletics to beat the Texas Rangers 6-4 on Wednesday.
Mench set a Texas Rangers record by homering in his sixth straight game.
Texas led 4-3 until Dan Johnson led off the ninth with a homer off Cordero, who blew his third straight save chance. Payton's single off C.J. Wilson (1-2) went through a drawn-in infield gave him his first RBIs of the season. Justin Duchscherer (2-1) pitched two innings, and Joe Kennedy retired Hank Blalock on a bases-loaded flyout for his first save.