Liu Jung-nan turned in his best effort of the season thus far with five-and-a-third innings of two-run relief as the Brother Elephants doubled up on the Macoto Cobras 4-2 in Tianmu on Saturday evening.
The right-hander, who entered the game one out into the top of the third in relief of an injured Joey Dawley, answered the challenge by three-hitting the league-leaders in his longest relief outing of this season to earn his first win.
Other than a shaky fourth inning, in which he allowed both of the Cobras runs on a bases-loaded walk to Deng Shih-yang and a sacrifice fly by Kao Wei, Liu was in complete control of his game until he was pulled during the eighth.
In came a well rested Chuang Wei-chuan, who promptly retired the final four batters in order for his third save of the season.
The Elephants wasted little time solving Cobras starter Chang Hsien-chih with two second-inning runs, including Chen Guan-ren's one-run double and Fong Sheng-shien's RBI groundout, which scored Chen Guan-ren one out later.
Leading 2-0, the Elephants would replicate their success with another pair of runs in the third for a comfortable 4-0 advantage.
The Cobras would cut the Elephants lead in half with two runs of their own off Liu in the top of the fourth and threaten to add more with men on first and second and only one out.
Liu worked out of a serious jam with minimal damage by striking out Chen Keh-fan for the second out of the inning before inducing a lazy fly to center to end the inning.
Chang was tagged with the loss for the serpents.
Offensively for the Elephants,Chen Rei-cheng, Chen Guan-ren, and Chen Huai-shan batted a combined 6-for-12 with three RBIs.
Lions 7, Whales 1
Scoring early and often, the President Lions erupted for seven runs in a surprising 7-1 win over the previously red-hot Chinatrust Whales in Tainan on Saturday night to snap a five-game losing skid in Tainan.
Averaging only 1.4 runs per game over the five games prior to Saturday, the Lions came into the game as heavy underdogs against Whales staff ace Tseng Jau-hao.
But that did not seem to bother the cats a bit as they scored at least one run in three of the first four innings against Tseng for a solid 4-1 lead before padding it by three in the seventh and eighth to blow the game wide open in the end.
Starter Rob Cordemans of the Netherlands was brilliant for the Lions with seven solid innings of one-run ball on six scattered singles.
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