Overcoming a one-run deficit in the sixth with three unanswered runs in the seventh and eighth, the Brother Elephants rallied past the Sinon Bulls 4-2 at the Taichung Municipal Baseball Stadium in the night game of their day-night doubleheader yesterday.
The win not only swept the doubleheader for the Elephants, but importantly completed a three-game sweep of the first-half champions as they widened their lead over the second-placed Bulls to three full games in the latest standings.
Following a 10-4 victory in the day game when slugger Peng “Chia Chia” Cheng-min batted a perfect four-for-four with a pair of RBIs to lead an attack that rang up 17 hits against the Bulls’ pitching, the Elephants had nothing but a three-game sweep on their minds.
PHOTO: LIAO CHEN-HUEI, TAIPEI TIMES
It looked as if they were ready to do just that as they struck first in the night game with a run in the top of the fifth inning on Huang Shih-wei’s one-run single to take a 1-0 lead.
The lead proved short-lived as the Bulls countered with a run of their own in the bottom of the same inning on Cheng Hong-da’s RBI double to tie the game at 1-l, before they skidded ahead 2-1 in the sixth, courtesy of Cheng Jau-hang’s run-scoring double.
That was when the Elephants hitters decided to take their game up a notch collectively as they cleared two rare triples and a double off Bulls reliever Lin Ying-jeh over the next two innings to score three unanswered runs for the win.
The late-game rally by the Elephants lineup made a winner out of starter Jim Magrane, who picked up victory No. 10 with eight innings of two-run ball on eight hits, two strikeouts and five walks.
Ryan Cullen retired the Bulls in order in the ninth to record his league-best 27th save of the year, while the loss went to the Bulls’ Lin, who failed to protect the slim lead by allowing the Elephants back in the game in a rather dismal outing.
Lions 9, Bears 0
The Uni-President Lions avenged a disheartening loss in extra innings on Saturday with a 9-0 shutout win over the La New Bears at the Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taichung last night to take the weekend series by a 2-1 margin.
Starter Wang Jing-ming scattered six singles over as many scoreless innings of work, before Chen Yi-chen and Lin Yueh-ping combined for three perfect frames of relief to keep the shutout intact.
Offensively for the Cats, Liu Fu-hao led a trio of hitters who had three-hit games with three RBIs on a night when all nine of the Lions’ starters had at least one hit during the contest.
The Lions opened the game with three first-inning runs off Bears starter Huang Chin-chih, who allowed four of the first five batters to reach safety.
He would leave with two outs in the top of the third in his shortest start of the season, with five of the six runs he allowed charged against him.
The loss ended a three-game winning streak for the southpaw, who is 5-3 for the year.
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