Wong Tsai-sheng's drawn walk with the bases loaded and two outs earned the go-ahead run and the Macoto Cobras held on for dear life to squeeze past the Chinatrust Whales 5-4 in Sinjhuang on Saturday night to snap a three-game losing skid.
League-leaders in the first half of the season, the Whales have lost 10 of their last 12 games and are now fifth in the standings, eight games behind the top-ranked President Lions.
Consecutive one-run singles by Carlos Villalobos and Chen Jien-wei off Cobras starter Chang Hsien-chih in the top of the first put the Whales 2-0 ahead and it seemed the Cobras would get skinned again.
But the Cobras rallied with a four-run fourth in which they connected for three solo homers and a RBI double off Whales starter Nee Fu-deh to take a 4-2 lead.
The Whales managed to cut the deficit to a run in the fifth by scoring off Chang on an error by the Cobras defense and eventually forced a 4-all tie in the sixth when Wang Hsin-min led off the inning with a clean double. They scored two outs later on Wang Yi-min's blooper single up the middle, setting the stage for Wong's bases-loaded walk that scored the game-winner in the seventh.
Picking up the win for the serpents was Chang, who improved to 9-5 for the year with seven innings of work, allowing four runs (three earned) on eleven hits while fanning six and walking none.
Tagged with the loss for the Whales was reliever Kao Jien-san. Kao got his club out of a bases-loaded jam with an inning-ending strikeout when he entered the game with two outs in the sixth, but ran out of luck an inning later by issuing the game-deciding walk.
A poor effort by the Whales to convert their hits into runs ultimately cost them the game as the 14 hits they racked up only led to four runs on the board, compared to the Cobras' nine hits that translated into five runs and a win.
Elephants 7, Bulls 6
The problems continued for the free-falling Sinon Bulls as they suffered a disheartening 7-6 loss to the Brother Elephants in Tianmu on Saturday to extend their losing skid to seven.
Starter Iba Tomokazu and the Sinon defense canceled out the four early runs scored by their team's offense by giving up four fast runs (three unearned) in the bottom of the same inning.
The Sinon lineup gave Iba another chance by scoring in the fourth and fifth, only to see the Japanese righty squander away the lead for a second time by serving up three singles and a walk in a three-run fifth.
The score remained 7-6 as neither offense was able to plate another run against stingy bullpens that combined for eight shutout innings on five total hits.
Todd Moser worked a perfect seventh and eighth before allowing a harmless hit in the ninth to record his sixth save of the year and preserve the win for Yeh Yong-jeh, who allowed a run on two hits in as many innings of relief for his fifth win of the year.
Iba was charged with the loss for allowing all seven of the Elephants' runs on eleven hits.