Breaking out for 21 combined runs on 29 hits, the La New Bears won back-to-back games in Sunday's day-night doubleheader against the Macoto Cobras to sweep the two-game set at Sinjhuang for a perfect 2-0 mark in last week's play.
Tseng Hao-jui was spectacular on the day for the defending champs with four RBIs in a 4-for-7 outing to lead the Bears in their skinning of the serpents that cut Macoto's lead over the second-place Bears in the latest standings to just a half-game.
The fourth-year slugger connected for two doubles in the day game, that saw the Bears score ten unanswered runs over the final two innings to beat the Cobras 13-8.
The game began with the Bears greeting Cobras starter Kim Jebin with a pair of runs in the top of the first on Pan Chung-wei's two-run double before the Cobras fought back with eight runs over the next four innings off Bears starter Gary Rath and reliever Liang Rue-hao to claim a seemingly comfortable 8-3 lead after five innings of play.
Neither offense would strike again during a scoreless sixth and seventh until the Cobras bullpen collapsed by serving up a record-setting six doubles in an eight-run eighth to lose the lead for good.
Picking up the big "W" was Bears lefty Jiang Bo-ching who earned his first career victory with three shutout innings of one-hit relief to beat the Cobras' Travis Minix, who blew his second save opportunity of the season over 16 relief appearances in his first loss of the year.
Bears 8, Cobras 5
The Bears completed their two-game sweep of the top-ranked Cobras by overcoming an early 2-0 deficit to take the night game by 8-5 on Sunday night.
Tseng Hao-jui's three-run blast over the leftfield wall off Cobras starter Lin Jing-min capped a five-run fifth that gave the Bears a 5-2 lead.
Even though the Cobras would answer with two runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth to make it 5-4, it was the Bears who had the last laugh as they connected for three singles and a double off the struggling Cobras bullpen in the top of the ninth to secure the win.
Consecutive homers by the Cobras' Kao Wei and Hsieh "the Ugly" Jia-shien were the lone highlights offensively on the night as the league-leaders fell victims to a generous bullpen that surrendered over a dozen runs to a potent Bears lineup to drop two games in a row.
Hsu Yu-wei was credited with the win for his 1-2/3 innings of relief, despite serving up the two homers to Kao and Hsieh to nearly lose the lead in the seventh.
Taking the loss for the Cobras was Lin, who allowed five runs on as many hits over 5-2/3 innings of work to suffer his second setback of the season.
Whales 7, Bulls 5
Bulls 11, Whales 7
Sloppy defensive play by the Chinatrust Whales cost them a win in their doubleheader against the Sinon Bulls in Taichung on Sunday as they settled for a one-game split to finish the week with a 1-3 record.
Four deadly errors by the Whales defense led to eight unearned runs for the home Bulls as they rallied from a 6-3 deficit with a five-run seventh and three-run eighth to demolish the marine creatures in the 11-7 come-from-behind win on Sunday night.
Sinon reliever Du Yen-jeh pocketed his first win of the season with a perfect seventh that included a lazy fly-out in the foul territory and an inning-ending double play.
As for the Whales, closer Miguel Saladin was tagged with the loss for allowing the game-winning run to score during the seventh in relief of starter Du Chang-wei.