Chiou Chang-rong's clutch double with the bases loaded in the top of the eighth scored the go-ahead runs for the Macoto Cobras as they edged past the Brother Elephants 4-2 in Hsinchu on Wednesday night to take the series opener.
The classic pitchers' duel between red-hot Macoto rookie right-hander Chang Hsien-chih (winner of three straight) and the Brother Elephants' US veteran Joey Dawley had the serpents breaking a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth when catcher Wu Jau-hui drew a leadoff walk from Dawley and scored on shortstop Huang Shih-hao's chopping single to left for a 1-0 lead.
Second baseman Deng Shih-yang's timely single then made it 2-0 two innings later when it knocked home third-baseman Kao Wei, who led off the inning with a base hit up the middle off Dawley.
The 2-0 Macoto advantage lasted less than an inning as the Elephants' Peng "Chia Chia" Cheng-min went deep against Chang in the bottom of the seventh for a two-run, opposite-field homer that knotted things up at 2-2 to set up Chiou's game-winning double in the eighth.
Chang improved his record to 4-1 for the season with the win in another quality start, allowing a pair of runs on five hits over seven strong innings while fanning seven and walking none.
Taking the tough loss was Dawley, who dropped to 2-2 for the year in 7-1/3 innings of work. He surrendered all four of the Cobras runs (three earned) on eight this with five strikeouts and three walks.
Lions 6, Whales 3
Three eighth-inning runs by the President Lions broke a 3-all deadlock in the top of the eighth as the Lions doubled up on the Chinatrust Whales in a 6-3 decision at Sinjhuang for their fourth straight victory.
The visiting cats scored a run each in the top of the first, third, and fifth off Chinatrust lefty Steve Smyth of the US for a 3-0 lead, before the marine creatures tied the game up with three runs in the bottom of the fifth on four singles and a double that chased President rookie starter Cheng Bo-ren.
Chen Lien-hong's two-run, pinch-hit single off Whales closer Dario Veras with the bases loaded then scored the game-winner for the visitors to deal Chinatrust its fifth loss in a row.
President reliever Lin Yueh-ping was credited with the win for tossing 2-1/3 innings of two-hit ball to even his record at 4-4 for the season, while Smyth was hit with the loss for yielding five runs (three earned) on six hits, including a solo blast to left by Lions shortstop Luis Ugueto of Venezuela.
Newly arrived American third baseman Jim Deschaine was not particularly sharp in his Taiwan debut as he accounted for two of the four Whales errors in the game that led to a pair of unearned runs for the Lions.
Even though he did smash a clean double off Lin in the fifth to demonstrate some offensive potential, how well he will fit into the Whales' overall scheme remains to be determined.
Bulls 7, Bears 3
Behind eight brilliant innings of five-hit effort from starter Alfredo Gonzalez, the Sinon Bulls took Game 1 of the four-game series against the league-leading La New Bears at Kaohsiung in a 7-3 final on Tuesday night.
The showdown between the top two teams in the league had the defending champs drawing first blood in the opening frame when Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan's sacrifice fly off La New starter Hsu Chih-hua put the Bulls ahead 1-0.