Peng "Chia Chia" Cheng-min snapped a 27-game home run drought with his 17th blast of the year, but it was not enough to carry the Brother Elephants to victory in Sinjhuang on Tuesday as they lost 4-3 to the La New Bears for their third loss in as many games.
More than 3,000 fans flocked to the ballpark, looking for the showdown between the league's two premier long ball hitters -- Chia Chia of the Elephants and former Los Angeles Dodger Chen Chin-fong for the Bears.
The fans' wishes were granted as both went deep with two-run shots in the game.
Chen's two-run homer to left gave the Bears a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
But that was the extent that either offense could produce against the solid starting pitching of the Elephants' Yeh Yong-jeh and the Bears' Hsu Yu-wei, who mowed through the opposing lineups over the next four frames until the Bears struck again in the sixth on Lin Chih-sheng's RBI single up the middle to make it 3-0.
The Elephants finally got two of the three runs back in the eighth after Hsu was pulled at the end of the seventh. Chia Chia then launched his two-run shot off Bears reliever Lee Fong-hua narrow the gap to a run.
But the Bears came back by scoring an insurance run in the bottom of the inning on Yu Jin-deh's run-scoring single off Todd Moser.
The run proved to be the difference in the game as the Elephants rallied for one more off Lee in the top of the ninth before the Bears closer recorded the final two outs to preserve the win for his second save of the year.
Improving to an 8-2 mark for the year with his seventh straight win was Hsu, who five-hit the Elephants over seven shutout innings while fanning six and walking a pair to best his counterpart Yeh, who suffered his sixth defeat of the season by giving up three runs on six hits.
Offensively for the Bears, Chen continued his red-hot hitting by going 3-for-4 on the night to raise his league-best batting average to .380.
He has gone an incredible 16-for-26 over the past seven games to make a serious run for the league's single season batting average record of .387, which was set by Jay Kirkpatrick of the US with the 1998 Sinon Bulls.
Whales 6, Cobras 0
Troubles continued for the struggling Macoto Cobras as they fell to the Chinatrust Whales 6-0 in Hsinchu on Tuesday evening for their first shutout loss in 97 games.
The Cobras actually outhit the Whales by a 9-8 margin, but simply could not come up the timely hits necessary to drive in runs.
A perfectly executed double steal in the top of the first scored the Whales' first run in the game before they tacked on another with Kuo Dai-yong's one-run single to shallow-center for an early 2-0 advantage.
Carlos Villalobos' solo home run off Cobras reliever Chuang Jing-ho extended the Whales lead to 3-0 in the sixth before Yeh Chang-long led off the seventh with an opposite-field single and scored from second two batters later on a defensive error by the Cobras first baseman to make it 4-0.
The Whales would plate two more runs in the eighth to conclude the scoring. The Cobras continued to put runners on and then strand them, going 0-for-11 with runners on base, 0-6 with runners in scoring position and hitting into two inning-ending double plays.
Picking up the win for the Whales was starter Chu Wei-ming, who tossed six scoreless innings before his bullpen stepped in with three innings of solid relief to keep the shutout intact.