Kenny Rayborn became the league's first 14-win man on Wednesday night by pitching six effective innings of one-run ball for the La New Bears against the previously red-hot Chinatrust Whales in an easy 12-1 blowout win at Hsinchu.
The American righty, who spent part of last season with the Hiroshima Carps of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball League, did not have much trouble facing the Whales, winners of their previous four and unbeaten over a five-game stretch, as he scattered five singles over six frames while fanning eight en route to his 14th triumph of the season.
His offense also did its part by spotting Rayborn an early six-run lead through the first four innings, highlighted by Pan Chung-wei's two-run single up the middle in the third and four consecutive base hits by the top of the Bears order that rang up three more runs in the fourth, to put this one out of reach long before the final out of the game.
Veteran hurler Liang Rue-hao also chipped in three innings of scoreless relief in a solid outing toward the Bears win as they extended their lead over the second-placed Sinon Bulls to 2-1/2 games in the latest standings.
Offensively for the visitors, six different players had multi-hit games on the night, led by designated hitter Chen Chin-fong and Pan, whose combined 4-for-8 batting with three RBI apiece accounted for half of their team's scoring total.
Taking the loss was Whales starter Alexander Herrera, who lasted only 3-1/3 innings, allowing six runs on five hits and as many walks in a subpar performance for his third defeat of the year.
Bulls 7, Elephants 6
After a long, record-setting 38-inning scoring drought, the Brother Elephants finally put up some runs on the board for a welcome change.
But the six runs that they managed to foot up against the Sinon Bulls in Taichung on Wednesday night still kept them off the win column as they dropped a narrow 7-6 decision to the Bulls for a season-high of six straight losses.
Chang "Red Monkey" Jia-hao's run-scoring single forced the third tie of the game at 6-all for the Bulls before Yu Hsien-ming followed with his fourth hit of the game to score the game-winner in the bottom of the seventh.
The Bulls wasted little time against the slumping Elephants by jumping to a 4-0 lead after the first three innings of play with Huang Chung-yi's sacrifice-fly plating their first run in the opening inning, followed by a three-run third.
Trailing 4-0, the Elephants would take advantage of a wild Billy Sylvester (Sinon starter) who issued two walks on top of a hit batsman to load up the bases with two outs in the top of the fourth, before four straight base hits by the Elephants produced five runs to give Brother their first lead in a game in over 40 innings at 5-4.
Sinon later knotted things up at 5-5 in the sixth with Huang's RBI single to the opposite field only to hand the lead right back to the Elephants in the seventh on an RBI groundout by Chen Huai-shan to set the stage for Chang and Yu's late-game heroics.
Setup man Yu Wen-pin was credited with the win for three innings of one-run relief, beating his counterpart Chuang Wei-chuan of the Elephants, who surrendered the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh.