Tseng Hao-jui's two-run blast in the top of the eighth proved decisive as the La New Bears rallied to edge past the President Lions 2-1 in Tainan on Tuesday night.
With two outs and a runner on first, the fifth-year slugger out of the Taipei Physical Education College deposited an offering from Lions reliever Tsai Shih-chin deep into the leftfield seats that turned what was an imminent defeat into a 2-1 lead which the Bears held onto for an impressive win on the road.
The showdown between the top two clubs in the league saw the home side draw first blood against Bears staff ace Mike Johnson in the bottom of the first on three straight two-out walks following a single by Pan Wu-hsiung to force a run for a quick 1-0 lead.
The lead stood for the next six innings as Johnson did not allow another hit through the seventh before turning the game to his bullpen trailing 0-1.
As for the Lions, their own staff ace Pan “Du Du” Wei-luan also brought his “A” game to the mound with seven shutout innings of five-hit ball and a season-high nine strikeouts to lead it 1-0 after the seventh before the Lions bullpen tossed it away in the eighth.
Picking eighth straight win of the season was Johnson who remained undefeated at 8-0 despite walking nine in the game.
Tagged with the loss on behalf of the Lions was Tsai who failed to preserve what would have been Du Du’s 20th straight victory dating back to last season for serving up the homer by Tseng in the eighth.
Bulls 4, Whales 3
The Sinon Bulls won their second one-run game in as many days with a 4-3 victory of the Chinatrust Whales in Taichung on Tuesday to up their winning streak to three in a row.
Lin Chi-wei made a genius out of Sinon manager Hu Chang-hao for switching the normal closer to a starting role with six and a third innings of one-run ball on five hits to keep the Whales attack at bay.
Offensively for the Bulls, their four early runs off Whales starter Steve Watkins proved sufficient for the win as the Whales made things interesting in the end by rallying for two runs in the eighth.
Taking the loss for the Whales was Watkins who threw seven decent innings of four-run ball on eight hits.