Home runs raced through the Kaohsiung sky in a high-scoring match between the President Lions and the La New Bears on Thursday evening when the Lions outslugged the Bears by a 13-7 margin for their sixth win in the past seven games.
Tilson Brito's two-run blast in the top of the eighth, his league-leading 28th of the season, led a three-homer outburst by the visiting Lions, while the Bears' Chen Chin-fong hit his 19th and 20th of the year in his second multi-homer game of the season for a total of five home runs in the game.
The highly anticipated battle between the league's top two starters -- Brian Reith of the Lions and Gary Rath of the Bears -- did not live up to its billing as Rath let the Lions bats get to him in the early going with a single and two doubles on top of a pair of walks for four second-inning runs to fall behind 0-4.
Even though the Bears would score a run of their own in the bottom of the second when Chen smashed an offering from Reith over the centerfield wall for a solo homer, the Lions would top that with Kao Guo-ching's solo blast off Rath that chased the American right-hander before striking for three more runs in the fifth to blow the game wide open.
Wild pitches by Bears reliever Hsu Wen-hsiung with the bases loaded plated two runs for the Lions in the fifth before Huang Gang-lin's double drove in the third run of the inning, which helped the Lions build up a commanding 8-1 lead after five innings of the game.
They would tack on five more runs in the final two innings after Chen took Reith deep again for his second solo shot of the game to lead it 13-2.
Trailing by 11, the Bears rallied for five unearned runs in the bottom of the ninth to make it more respectable, though it was too little too late for them as they dropped the disappointing game at the hands of the Lions.
Picking up the win for the Lions with seven brilliant innings of work was Reith, who allowed two runs on four hits (both solo homers to Chen) for his seventh straight win. He remained undefeated at 7-0 since joining the Lions early last month.
Offensively for the Lions, all nine starters pocketed at least one hit on the night with Liu Fu-hao batting three-for-four to lead the way. Huang Gang-lin and Kao Chih-kang also had multi-hit games with three RBIs each to account for nearly half of their team's total runs.