Chang “OEO” Tai-shan’s walk-off single to shallow-center field with the bases loaded scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Uni-President Lions topped the Sinon Bulls 2-1 at the Sinjhuang Baseball Stadium in New Taipei City last night.
It was a fitting way for the Lions slugger to show his former club that his potent bat is very much alive and their decision to trade him to Uni-President during the offseason could potentially be the biggest mistake made in team history.
“This is as good as it gets,” Chang said after the game while celebrating the game-winning hit with his new teammates.
His refusal to take on a player/coach role at the request of the Sinon front office was the main reason that he was sent to the Lions for NT$2.5 million (US$86,500) during the offseason. He has since hit five home runs, driven in 20 runs to lead the Cats and batted a rock-solid .316.
His addition to the Lions is the main reason that they are 15-8 and only a half-game behind the league-leading Lamigo Monkeys after missing the playoffs last year, having finished dead last in the regular season.
The Cats wasted little time against the Bulls as Chen Lien-hong legged out an infield single in the bottom of the second and scored three batters later on Chou Guang-sheng’s two-out single off Sinon starter Lin Ying-jeh for a quick 1-0 lead.
The lead would last through the fifth inning, with Lion starter Dan Reichert pitching shutout ball over the first five frames, before the Bulls finally got to him on Cheng Da-hong’s clutch single with two outs that knocked in the runner from second base to tie the game at 1-all.
That was all the runs that either pitching staff would allow through nine innings, before the Lion offense came through against the Sinon bullpen in the 10th and ripped a pair of hits off relievers Chang Geng-hao and Shen Yu-jeh to clinch the victory.
Picking up the win was reliever Pan Jung-rong, who tossed a perfect 10th for his second win of the season.
A throwing error by Shen that would have represented the second out for the Cats in the bottom of the 10th proved costly for the Bulls as it allowed two runners to advance to set up Chang’s game winner.
Chang Geng-hao was charged with his first loss of the year, even though the run he allowed was unearned.
MONKEYS 12, ELEPHANTS 1
Scoring a dozen runs on 20 hits in an offensive outburst, the Lamigo Monkeys roughed up the Brother Elephants at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium last night for their second win against the Elephants in as many days.
Kuo Yen-wen’s 4 for 6 from the plate with an RBI led a trio of Lamigo hitters that had at least three hits as the Monkeys teed off against the Brother pitching in a hitting clinic.
That made things easy for Monkey starter Ken Ray as the American right-hander cruised through the eighth inning. He allowed a run on five hits to register win No. 4 to tie teammate Adrian Burnside for most wins in the league.
Elephant starter Orlando Roman was tagged with the loss as he gave up six runs on 13 hits over seven innings, with three of the runs being unearned.
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