Gary Rath tossed his first complete-game shutout of the year and Chen Chin-fong drove in four runs with a pair of homers to lead the La New Bears past the Brother Elephants in a 5-0 win in Kaohsiung on Thursday night.
The US left-hander scattered five singles and fanned eight while walking one to record his first complete-game shutout of the year, upping his team-best record to 11-4 with an ERA of 3.14.
Offensively for the home Bears, Chen's two homers marked his third multi-homer outing of the year, giving the former US major league player -- Taiwan's first -- 17 for the year.
The battle between the most popular team in the league, the Elephants, and the defending champs, the Bears, saw the hosts waste little getting on the board with Chen's two-run blast off Elephants starter Liao Yu-cheng in the bottom of the first for a quick 2-0 lead.
Liao would settle in and keep the game close with four scoreless innings of work until the bottom of the sixth, when Chen deposited another Liao pitch into the leftfield seats to double the Bears' lead to 4-0.
Tsai Jien-wei's groundout to shortstop with men at the corners plated the fifth run of the game for the Bears to conclude the scoring.
Rath continued pitching brilliantly, baffling the Elephants the rest of the way to keep the shutout intact.
Lions 7, Bulls 1
Liu Fu-hao's grand slam capped a five-run first for as the President Lions never looked back on their way to beating the Sinon Bulls 7-1.
The Lions were led by an outstanding effort by starter Brian Reith, who allowed a lone run on five hits over seven strong innings to remain undefeated for the season with a 5-0 mark.
Long-ball hitters Tilson Brito and Kao Guo-ching and rookie sensation Pan Wu-hsiung also had multi-hit games on the night, with Brito going 3-for-4 with an RBI and Kao and Pan each collecting two hits to account for the bulk of the Lions' offense.
Falling to 3-9 for the year with the loss was Sinon starter Yang Jien-fu who gave up six runs on ten hits, including Liu's grand slam, over five-and-two-thirds innings of work.
Chang "Prince of the Forest" Tai-shan's opposite-field single that delivered the lone run for the Bulls was the only highlight for an offense that saw its bid to win three in a row nipped by the tenacious Lions.
Lions 8, Whales 5
Holding off a vicious four-run rally by the Whales late in the game, the President Lions topped the marine creatures in an 8-5 decision in Hsinchu on Wednesday evening to avenge a bitter one-run loss to the Whales the night before.
The league leaders scored at least one run in all but one of the first six innings to build a comfortable 8-1 lead through the sixth, led by Liu Fu-hao's two-run single in the first and Chen Lien-hong's two-run home run in the third.
After seven frustrating innings against the stellar pitching of Lions starter Chang Chih-chiang, the Whales finally broke loose in the eighth with three runs off Lions relievers Yen Chuen-hao and Tsai Shih-chin.
The Whales made things interesting by scoring another run with two on and the tying run at the plate in the ninth.
But that was as close as they got as the Lions sent in closer Tsao Jung-yang, who promptly retired the final batter to preserve the win.
Picking up the win for the Lions was Chang, who allowed an unearned run on five hits over six innings to defeat his Whales pitcher Nee Fu-deh, who dropped to 5-10 for the season.