Hsieh Ming-tsong’s walk-off single with two outs and runners at the corners scored the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth as the Sinon Bulls rallied for two runs to edge past the Uni-President Lions 8-7 at the Yilan County Baseball Stadium in Luodong on Saturday evening.
The win not only set the hapless Lions further back in the standings with their sixth straight defeat, but also nipped Lin Yueh-ping’s recent streak of consecutive innings without allowing a run at 11-and-one-third as the normally sure-handed closer blew just his third save in 15 chances to lose the heartbreaker.
It was the third one-run loss that the defending champs had suffered in their last five games, leaving many wondering if they could ever regain the winning form that led to back-to-back titles in the last two seasons and a first-place finish in the first half of this season.
The Lions needed a two-run single by Chen Lien-hong to turn a 5-6 deficit into a 7-6 lead in the top of the seventh and thought they had the game wrapped up when Lin took the mound with the narrow lead to start the fatal ninth.
But that would not be the case as the Bulls rose to the occasion one final time in a game that featured four different lead changes to prevail in the end.
BEARS 3, ELEPHANTS 1
Homering for the second time in as many games, Lin Chih-sheng led the La New Bears past the Brother Elephants at the Taipei Municipal Baseball Stadium in Tianmu on Saturday.
Even though the Bears did not score 15 or more runs in the game like they had done in their previous two contests — missing an opportunity to set a new league record for three straight games with 15 or more runs scored — it was a solid win for them nonetheless. The Bears rang up a pair of runs off Elephants starter and former Major Leaguer Tsao Chin-hui in the top of the third to take a 2-0 lead and held on for their sixth win in a row.