Consecutive shutout wins over the Macoto Cobras in Saturday's day-night doubleheader in Tainan gave the President Lions their first series victory in the second half of the year, as they took three of four games in the week's play against the troubled Cobras.
The big cats beat the Cobras by a 6-0 margin in the day game before making it two wins straight with a 2-0 triumph in the nightcap to extend their winning streak to three games in a row. All three of the Lions' wins for the week have come in the form of shutouts, tying the league record for consecutive shutout wins.
Game 1 of Saturday's two-game outing had the Lions jumping to an early 1-0 advantage thanks to a fielding error by the Macoto defense on a routine grounder that scored Chen Chih-pong, who led off the game with a single.
The Lions would double their lead in the sixth when first baseman Kao Guo-ching took third on a rare triple off Macoto starter Jose Santiago and scored on Chen Jia-wei's RBI single on the ensuing play.
Chen Lien-hong's standup double in the seventh added an insurance run for the hosts before they put the game beyond doubt with three more runs.
Lions starter Pan "Du Du" Wei-luen regained his dominant form after dropping two straight starts with eight impeccable innings of work, allowing three hits for his eleventh victory of the season.
Taking the loss was Santiago, who remains at 0-2 with six innings of four-run ball. The American right-hander gave up 10 hits while fanning three and walking one.
Lions 2, Cobras 0
The Lions were equally impressive in the second game, taking advantage of an interference call on the Cobras' catcher by the home plate umpire in the bottom of the third to score two unearned runs.
That was the end of the scoring, as neither team managed to cross the plate again in the face of stellar pitching by the Cobras' James Lira and the Lions' American newcomer Hansel Izquierdo.
The Cobras did have a couple of scoring opportunities early in the game against Izquierdo, when they placed runners in scoring position in the first and fourth. But poor 0-for-3 hitting cost the visitors both of their scoring chances as they stretched a disappointing scoring drought to 31 innings over the course of the week.
Picking up the win in his local debut was Izquierdo, who tossed seven brilliant innings of scoreless ball on four hits to beat the Macoto's Lira, who came out of the bullpen in a rare start with five solid innings of three-hit work, but still failed to collect his first win of the season as a result of a lack of run-support by his offense.
Elephants 7, Bulls 9
Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan rang up a season-high five RBIs in Saturday's match at Douliou, including his three-run blast in the bottom of the second, to help the Sinon Bulls top the Brother Elephants by 9-7, sending the hapless Elephants to their seventh-straight defeat.
The defending champs teed up against Elephants starter Liu Jung-nan for seven big runs, before tacking on one more against reliever Wu Bao-shien for a comfortable 8-1 lead after the first three innings.
But the men in gold fought back with six runs between the sixth and seventh innings to make a game of it heading into the top of the eighth.
That was as close as the Elephants got, because the Bulls would not surrender another run for the rest of the game, with closer Kuo Yong-chih getting the final seven outs to record his 13th save of the year.