Inconsistent play by the President Lions bullpen led to a 1-1 split in their first two games against the Sinon Bulls earlier this week.
Tuesday night's series opener in Douliou featured four combined innings of hitless relief by three different relievers as the Lions cruised past the Bulls in a 6-2 triumph.
Starter Lin Yueh-ping was spotted a two-run lead in the top of the third, thanks to a pair of RBI singles by fellow catcher Kao Cheng-hua and shortstop Luis Ugueto of Venezuela off Bulls Panamanian right-hander Jorge Cortez. But Lin was unable to hold on to the lead as the Bulls answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth on back-to-back one-run singles by outfielder Chang Jien-ming and catcher Yeh Jung-chang to even things up at 2-all.
Doing what teammates are supposed to do, the Lions hitters would strike against in the top of the fifth on second baseman Yang Seng's lining single to right, followed by Ugueto's bouncer up the middle to stake Lin another two-run advantage.
This time, Lin managed to keep the Bulls hitters in check with a scoreless fifth before turning the game to fellow relievers Cheng Bo-ren, Shen Bo-chang, and Tseng Yi-cheng, who combined for four hitless innings stellar relief to preserve the eventual win for Lin.
Offensively for the big cats, outfielder Liu Fu-hao's 3-for-4 night with two runs and an RBI led an attack that pounded ten hits off the Sinon staff.
Taking the loss for the Bulls was Cortez, who allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits in as many innings to fall to 4-2 for the season, despite pitching in another quality start (defined as allowing three or fewer earned runs in at least six innings of play).
Bulls 8, Lions 1
The stingy Lions bullpen that shut down the Bulls on Tuesday night was more than generous in Wednesday night's contest at Chiayi, allowing six of the eight Sinon runs over 3-2/3 frames of shaky relief to drop the game by 8-1.
Trailing 2-1, veteran Lions starter Tsao Jung-yang was pulled by manager Ohashi one out into the fifth for allowing an earned run on six hits with Ohashi figuring he could count on the bullpen to replicate its success from the night before.
But much to Ohashi's disappointment, reliever Chang Chih-chiang coughed up three runs on over the next inning before Cheng and Tseng followed with three more during the seventh and eighth to add insult to injury in this ugly loss.
Making the most of a generous Lions bullpen was a Sinon lineup that pounded out six hits in addition to drawing six more walks on a night where every break seemed to go its way.
Cleanup man Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan and Yeh each had three hits for the game, with Chang Jien-ming and Yu Hsien-ming also chipping in a pair of singles apiece.
Dominican righty Alfredo Gonzalez of the Bulls was credited with the win for his seven solid innings of work. He allowed the lone Lions run in the top of the fourth before going on strong in pitching a three-hit gem.
Cobras 3, Whales 1
Getting home runs from newly arrived Dominican slugger Rudy Pemberton in consecutive games, the Macoto Cobras defeated the Chinatrust Whales 3-1 in Hsinchu on Tuesday to begin the week with a bang.
Pemberton followed his three-run blast against the Lions on Sunday with another monstrous shot to deep-right, this time off Whales starter Steve Smyth of the US to help his team take a 3-0 lead in the top of the third.