Kao Jung-chiang's two-run homer sparked a six-run fifth for the Chinatrust Whales as they rallied from five down to top the La New Bears 9-7 at the Kaohsiung County Baseball Stadium on Saturday night.
A crucial fielding error by Bears shortstop Lin Chih-sheng might have been the difference in the game as it turned what would have been an inning-ending double play in the fifth, with the Whales having scored just two runs, into a game-deciding six-run rally.
“The hardest run to score in a big rally like this is always the first one,” Chinatrust skipper Hsieh Chang-hen said after the game, referring to how his Whales needed a big hit like Kao’s homer to gain the momentum necessary to turn the game around.
What had been an all-Bears contest through the fourth, with five early runs in the third, suddenly became a Whales rout.
Even though the Bears showed some signs of life later in the game with a two-run seventh to fall within two of the Whales, the outcome of the contest was never in doubt as the Whales’ Huang Hong-ren came in during the seventh and retired the next nine batters he faced to grab his third save of the season.
Also starring for the Whales was Kuo Dai-yong, who homered in the sixth on a four-for-five night to bring his average back to .306.
Picking up the win for the Whales was reliever Liu Yu-chan, who entered in the third after starter Shen Yu-jeh was battered around for five runs on seven hits, and tossed four solid innings of one-run ball to keep his team in the game long enough for the late-warming offense to win it.
As for the Bears, Tsai Ying-fong was charged with the loss for hitting two batsmen in the fifth, loading the bases before being pulled in a wild relief appearance.
T-Rex 11, Lions 5
Homers flew through the Sinjhuang sky on Saturday evening as three separate T-Rex players went deep against the President Lions to come away with an 11-5 victory at the Taipei County Baseball Stadium.
Lin “Wild Hog” Hong-yuan’s two-run blast off Lions starter Gregory Wiltshire in the bottom of the third kicked off the long-ball parade and broke a 2-2 tie. Chou Si-chi followed with a three-run shot to cap a four-run fifth, before Napoleon Calzado went deep with a solo bomb to top it all off in the eighth.
The T-Rex slug-fest would not end until they had amassed a total of 20 hits to avenge an embarrassing 3-13 loss at the hands of the Lions on Friday night.
Despite the lopsidedness of the game, T-Rex starter Chen Jien-fu was unable to pick up the win as he was forced to leave the game in the fourth by league regulations for hitting a Lions batter on the helmet, thus failing to go the minimum five innings for a starter in order to qualify for the win.
Earning the win was fellow right-hander Chang Hsien-chih for one-hitting the Lions over three-and-two-third innings of scoreless relief, with five strikeouts in his second win of the season.
The loss by Wiltshire was his second as he remains winless for the year in eight starts. The American hurler gave up four runs on nine hits in only two-and-two-third innings of work and is in danger of losing his spot on the Lions starting rotation.