Gary Rath tossed seven innings of one-run ball and Lin Chih-sheng went three-for-five with three RBIs to lead the La New Bears past the Macoto Cobras in a 10-6 win in Luodong on Wednesday night to complete a two-game sweep of the first-half champions.
The southpaw from the US, who had not won a game since late last month, broke out of a two-game slump and took a two-hit shutout one out into the fifth before giving up his lone run of the game on a groundout by Chen Keh-fan after loading up the bases with two singles and a walk in the fifth.
Rath would promptly recover by retiring all but one of the next seven batters he faced to leave the contest with a 4-1 lead after seven innings of work.
Leading the way offensively for the Bears was Lin Chih-sheng as the veteran slugger connected for three hits, including a three-run homer in the third that put his team ahead 4-0.
Chen Chin-fong and Lin Jing-ping also drove in three runs each for the victorious Bears, with the former belting his team-best 14th homer of the season and the latter teeing off the Macoto pitchers with a pair of doubles on the night.
It was Lin Jin-ping's RBI groundout in the top of the second that gave the Bears a quick 1-0 lead before Lin Chih-sheng's thunderous swing made it 4-0.
After the Cobras managed to plate a run off Rath in the fifth to avoid a shutout both offenses suddenly cooled off for the next two innings until the Bears erupted for three runs each in the eighth and ninth to make it 10-1.
The Cobras did make things interesting in the end by sending ten men to the plate to ring up five runs in the ninth.
But with the tying run in the on-deck circle and two outs with two one, Dutchman Ivanon Coffie swung through a clutch curve by Bears closer Tsai Ying-fong for a game-ending strikeout to halt the final Cobras scoring chance.
Picking up the win was Rath, as he improved to 10-3 for the year allowing a run on five hits over seven frames heading into the upcoming All-Star weekend in Tainan.
Suffering the loss for the Cobras was starter Pat Ahearne, who yielded four runs to trail the Bears by three after seven decent innings before his bullpen collapsed late in the game with six runs over the final two innings.
The loss sent the Cobras into free-fall as they have dropped three straight and five of their past six to trail the league-leading President Lions by two games in the latest league standings.
Elephants 3, Whales 0
The Brother Elephants also completed a two-game sweep of the Chinatrust Whales with a convincing 3-0 shutout win in Chiayi on Wednesday evening.
Liao Yu-cheng more than backed up his starting pitcher selection in the All-Star game by throwing a one-hit gem in seven magnificent innings before Todd Moser followed with a scoreless eighth and ninth to keep the shutout intact.
The classic pitchers' duel between Liao and the Whales' Lorenzo Barcelo saw Elephants hitters capitalize on a late throw to the plate by the Whales shortstop in an attempt to gun down the runner from third to claim a 1-0 lead in the top of the second.
After six scoreless innings against the Whales starter, the Elephants hitters finally broke through with Huang Cheng-wei's two-run single with two outs to lead it 3-0.
Liao was credited with the win for his outstanding effort while Barcelo was dealt a tough loss.
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