Brian Reith pitched seven strong innings of two-run ball and Kao Guo-ching batted a perfect 4-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs to lead the President Lions past the Sinon Bulls in an 8-2 win in Taichung on Wednesday evening.
The US right-hander remained unbeaten at 6-0 for the year with another impressive win to help the Lions take a three-game lead over the second-placed La New Bears. The veteran slugger, meanwhile, boosted his league-leading batting average to .368.
Tilson Brito's two-out single with a runner on third gave the Lions an early lead and Kao's towering two-run blast over the left-center wall off Sinon starter Tsai Chung-nan on a splitter that never dropped made it 3-0 in the top of the third.
Kao's fifth-inning RBI single scored the fourth run for the Lions and they tacked on three more in the seventh, highlighted by Chen Lien-hong's two-run pinch-hit homer.
The Bulls finally got to Reith in the bottom of the seventh with a pair of runs on a run-scoring single by Lin Tsung-nan and Yeh Jung-chang's RBI groundout.
But that was as close as they got, as the Lions starter retired the next two batters he faced on a pop-up and an inning-ending strikeout to strand two in the seventh. Pan Jung-rong closed the deal with a perfect eighth and ninth.
Tsai was tagged with the loss for allowing three runs on five hits over three-and-two-third innings and dropped to 1-4 for the year. His team have lost six in a row and 10 of their last twelve and are dead last in the standings with a miserable 5-17 record.
Bears 12, Whales 1
The La New Bears broke loose in Sinjhuang against the Chinatrust Whales on Wednesday night with a dominating 12-1 blowout win to begin the week with a roar.
Huang "Easy" Long-yi's three-run shot capped a six-run fourth that broke a 1-0 game wide open and Chen Chin-fong also went deep against the Whales pitching with a solo blast to left field for his 18th homer of the year.
The top of the Bears order had a huge game on the night with all four players connecting for at least two hits, led by Chen's 3-for-4 effort.
Making his local debut a huge hit was US lefty Andrew Lorraine, who held a previously red-hot Whales lineup at bay with six innings of five-hit ball. He gave up a lone unearned run in the sixth.
Offensively for the Whales, a lineup that had scored 23 runs in its two previous contests managed only five scattered hits off Lorraine and none against the Bears bullpen in the final three innings.
Picking up the loss for the Whales was starter Lorenzo Barcelo, who dropped his seventh game of the year and now has a 4-7 record.