Jeremy Hill tossed seven innings of two-run ball and Huang Shih-hao drove in a pair of runs with a two-run homer as the Macoto Cobras doubled up against the Sinon Bulls in a 4-2 decision in Hsinchu on Thursday evening for their fourth win in five games.
The US right-hander has won five straight after losing his Taiwan debut on May 29th to become the most reliable starter for the first-half champs. Both of the runs he allowed were unearned, dropping Hill's ERA to a team-best 2.50 for the year.
As for Huang, the budding Cobras shortstop has more than filled the shoes of veteran Hsu Sheng-jeh, who left the team in an offseason move that had Hsu rejoining the President Lions.
"I didn't think it would leave the park because I was slightly jammed up by the pitch," Huang said after the game about the homer off Sinon starter Kurita Yusuke that broke a 1-all tie in the bottom of the third.
The contest began with the visiting Bulls drawing first blood in the opening inning when Lin Tsung-nan drew a walk off Hill, took second on a past ball and scored on Huang Chung-yi's RBI single.
The serpents evened things up in a hurry an inning later with Lin "Wild Hog" Hong-yuan singling in Hsieh "the Ugly" Jia-shien, who led off the inning with a double to the right-center gap.
After Huang's two-run blast put the serpents ahead 3-1, the two teams traded a run each in the sixth, with Lin Tsung-nan's triple for the Bulls and Hsieh's sacrifice-fly for the Cobras to conclude the scoring.
Improving to 5-1 for the year was Hill, who allowed four hits while fanning four and walking a pair to beat his counterpart Kurita Yusuke, who surrendered four runs (three earned) on five hits over seven solid innings.
Whales 8, Lions 5
Tilson Brito homered for the fifth straight game to tie the league mark for consecutive home-run streaks on Thursday and increase his home-run total to 21 for the season.
But it was the Chinatrust Whales who had the last laugh as they tamed the Lions in an 8-5 final in Sinjhuang to extend their non-losing streak to three in a row.
A pair of doubles and a single with runners in scoring position by the Whales offense equated to a four-run fourth that brought the marine creatures from a 1-2 deficit to a 5-2 lead.
The Whales never looked back as they went on to humble the Lions by handing them their second straight loss.
Brito was not alone in the long-ball department, as Whales newcomer Carlos Villalobos of Colombia also connected for his second home run in as many games to knock in a run for his team.
Yeh Chang-long and Cheng Chang-ming each had two hits and three RBIs for the Whales in the match to account for the bulk of the offense.
The Lions actually outhit the Whales by a sizable 13-9 margin in the game, but inability to come through with the timely hits ultimately cost them the game as they batted a combined 4-for-16 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 runners to lose this one by three.
Game-winner Shen Yu-jeh finally earned his first "W" of the year in a rare start, going six innings on eight hits while giving up three runs.
The lefty fireballer was promoted to his new starting role to help out a struggling starting rotation that demoted Kao Jung-san, Du Chang-wei, and Su Tseh-yi in favor of relievers Shen, Nee Fu-deh and Chu Wei-ming.