A late-inning collapse by the President Lions bullpen cost them the game as they gave up six runs in the ninth in an 8-5 loss to the dmedia T-Rex at the Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium on Thursday evening to end their five-game winning skid.
What had been expected to be Pan “Du Du” Wei-luen’s record-extending 20th straight win turned into a no-decision for the Lions staff ace as his bullpen mates squandered a three-run lead to deny him a chance to make history.
Du Du allowed a rare first-inning run to open the game when the T-Rex’s Kuo Ming-ren led off the game with a single, took third on an infield single by Den Shih-yang and scored on Wang Chuan-jia’s sacrifice-fly two batters later for a quick 1-0 lead. The lead lasted less than an inning as the home Lions promptly answered with a run in the bottom of the same inning on Tilson Brito’s bouncer through the left side of the infield for an RBI-single in a 1-all tie.
Chen Keh-fan’s sacrifice-fly off Pan helped the visiting T-Rex reclaim a 2-1 advantage in the top of the second, only to see the Lions come up with a pair of runs in the third on an RBI-double by Kao Guo-ching and Chen Lien-hong’s one-run single to lead it 3-2.
The Lions scored one run in the fifth and seventh to make it 5-2 after the eighth and take a three-run lead into the top of the ninth before closer Gregory Wiltshire coughed up a hit and two walks to load up the bases and start what ended up being a game-turning inning for the T-Rex.
Picking up the surprising win for the visitors was reliever Pan Chung-hsiao, who threw three effective innings of one-run ball on three hits for his second win of the season, while the Lions’ Kao Jien-san took the loss for serving up the game-winner in his first defeat of the year.
BULLS 8, ELEPHANTS 4
The Sinon Bulls doubled up on the Brother Elephants in an 8-4 final at the Douliou County Baseball Stadium on Thursday night to sweep the two-game series on the road following Wednesday night’s 5-0 shutout win.
Chang Jien-ming’s two-run double led a five-run seventh that broke a 3-3 tie. Tsai Ming-jin and Lee Chih-wei combined for three innings of one-run relief to preserve the first win in Taiwan for starter Jeremy Cummings.
A run-scoring error by the Elephants shortstop got the Bulls on the board in the top of the fourth before back-to-back RBI-singles by Chen Chih-wei and Tseng Hua-wei quickly made it 3-0 in favor of the Bulls.
The lead would last just an inning as the Elephants returned the favor in the bottom of the fifth when Chu Hong-seng smashed an offering from Cummings over the leftfield wall for a three-run blast that evened things up at 3-3 to set the stage for the game-deciding seventh.
Chen “Golden Warrior” Chih-yuan’s solo home run off Tsai leading off the bottom of the eighth brought the Elephants to within three, but that was as close as they got as the Bulls setup man recorded three quick outs to end the inning before Lee finished it off strong with a perfect ninth.
Suffering the tough loss on behalf of the Elephants was Mai Jia-rei as the rookie righty fell to 1-3 for the year for allowing seven runs on nine hits for a losing cause.