Tilson Brito set a new league record for consecutive games with a home run on Friday night when he tattooed an offering from Chinatrust Whales' Nee Fu-deh for a solo homer that marked the sixth straight game that the President Lions slugger had hit the ball out of the park in a 6-1 Lions victory.
The solo shot by the Dominican native also upped his home run total to an incredible 22, putting him in the record books for fastest to reach the 22-homer plateau in just 56 games -- six fewer than the previous mark held by former Brother Elephants great Jose Oliva in 1997.
Doing his part from the mound in the impressive win was Lions starter Brian Reith of the US, who recorded his second quality start in as many games en route to his first win in Taiwan. The US right-hander took a three-hit shutout one out into the seventh before the Whales' Carlos Villalobos went deep against him with his third homer in as many games, a solo shot to left-center, to break up Reith's shutout bid.
The Lions offense wasted little time against Whales starter Nee by jumping to a fast 1-0 lead in the opening inning when Yang Song-hsuen drew a leadoff walk and scored on Brito's RBI double one out later.
After a quiet second and third, the Lions would score again in the fourth on Brito's record-setting homer before adding another run in the sixth when Yang Dong-yi drew a bases-loaded walk off Nee that chased the Whales southpaw in a 3-0 game.
The Lions would tack on a run each in the seventh, eighth and ninth, highlighted by Kuo Dai-chi's solo dinger off Kao Jien-san in the ninth to round out all the scoring.
Reith's outstanding performance completely silenced a previously red-hot Whales lineup that had averaged nearly nine runs per game over their past three games. His success could mean the difference between a third-place finish and a second-half title for the Lions as they desperately seek to solidify the Lions' starting rotation.
Picking up the loss was Nee, who was outpitched by Reith in a solid game. He allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits over five-and-one-third innings of play and was forced to leave as he ran up his pitch count to a dangerous 108.
Cobras 11, Bulls 5
Long balls also played a key role in the game between the Sinon Bulls and the Macoto Cobras in Sinjhuang on Friday as the Cobras connected for a pair of homers against a struggling Sinon staff to run away with a lopsided 11-5 win.
Kao Wei batted a perfect 4-for-4 on the night with two doubles, a triple and a homer to drive in four RBIs, leading a Macoto attack that teed off against five different Sinon hurlers for six extra-base hits in a 12-hit effort. He was a single shy of hitting for the cycle.
Cobras starter Pat Ahearne turned in another decent effort for his new club with seven-and-two-thirds innings of work for his second win in three starts. Even though he ended up giving up five runs on nine hits in the game, with three meaningless runs coming in two outs into the eighth, he was well in control nonetheless in the well-deserved win.
Other Cobras standouts on offense include Lin "Wild Hog" Hong-yuan and Dutchman Ivanon Coffie.