A multi-homer outing by Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan spearheaded a 16-hit outburst for the Sinon Bulls as they topped the President Lions in Tainan on Wednesday night in a 10-6 decision to even the four-game series at one game apiece.
Following a tough loss to the home Lions by a 3-2 margin in Tuesday night's series opener, the defending champs were all fired up to take on the big cats with a potent lineup that had won seven of their last nine to take back-to-back series from the Macoto Cobras and the Brother Elephants over the past two weeks.
And the Prince did exactly that by going 3-for-5 on the night with two towering blasts for four RBIs to retake the league's lead in total homers with 18 after surrendering the honor to La New Bears great Chen Chin-fong nearly a month ago on July 27.
Sinon wasted no time by striking for a pair of runs in the first and second innings against Lions starter Tsao Jung-yang, who was chased during the second in his shortest outing of the year with seven hits allowed.
Leading 4-1, the Bulls doubled their offensive output in the fourth with four more runs under their belt, highlighted by Chang's two-run shot to deep-left off Lions reliever Cheng Bo-ren.
After the Lions answered with a run each in the fifth and six to cut the Bulls lead down to 8-3, the Sinon offense countered with a seventh-inning run on outfielder Yu Hsien-ming's run-scoring double and the Prince's second home run of the game, an eight-inning shot off Lions reliever Lin Cheng-fong, for their tenth run of the contest.
The three runs by the Lions in the eighth made the formerly lopsided slaughter somewhat respectable, but it was too little too late for the hosts as they dropped Game 2 of the series to end a recent winning streak at four games.
American right-hander Billy Sylvester picked up his second victory of the season with five innings of work.
Lions 3, Bulls 2
Yang Seng's seventh-inning triple with a man on second and two outs scored the tie-breaking run for the Lions before they held on to beat the Bulls 3-2 for their fourth straight win on Tuesday.
The Lions saw their 2-0 first-inning lead dwindle to a 2-2 draw by the end of the sixth on a run-scoring error by first-baseman Hsu Guo-long in the fourth and Bulls second-baseman Huang Chung-yi's RBI single off Lions starter Jeriome Robertson in the sixth, before Yang's seventh-inning magic helped them reclaim the lead at 3-2.
Making the most of Yang's late-game scoring strike, Robertson retired the side in order in the eighth before his bullpen mates Lin Yueh-pin and closer Tseng Yi-cheng combined to pitch a perfect ninth to preserve the win for Robertson.
Sinon starter Alfredo Gonzalez was tagged with the loss for allowing all three of the Lions' runs in the game, despite going the distance for his club with eight decent innings of work on seven hits.
Bears 8, Elephants 0
Working his way out of trouble on several perilous occasions, Kenny Rayborn tossed eight shutout innings for the La New Bears as they cruised past the mentally deflated Brother Elephants for an 8-0 win in Kaohsiung to start the week with a bang on Wednesday.
The American righty allowed an Elephants hitter to lead off an inning by reaching first safely in seven of the eight innings he pitched, five of which saw at least one Elephants runner in scoring position, but still managed to keep the shutout intact with clutch outs for his league-leading 15th win of the season.