The Uni-President Lions doubled up on the Brother Elephants to win in a 4-2 final at Taichung Municipal Baseball Stadium last night to salvage a one-game split in a rare two-game series over the weekend.
Liu Fu-hao’s solo blast off Elephants starter Lee Jing-mu broke a 2-2 deadlock in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the Cats a 3-2 advantage and Kao Chih-kang’s sacrifice fly scored an insurance run in the eighth to make it 4-2.
Trailing by a pair to start the bottom of the ninth, the Elephants threatened with one final comeback attempt against Lin Yueh-ping by drawing a leadoff walk and grinding out a single against the Lions closer to put runners at the corners with one out.
However, Lin was able to induce a sharp grounder to third that led to a perfectly executed 5-4-3 double play to end the Elephants’ scoring threat, stranding the tying run at first to preserve the win.
The Elephants actually drew first blood in the contest with two runs in the top of the third off Tsai, courtesy of Chang Min-yan’s double to right that brought home both runners.
However, the Lions promptly answered an inning later with Kuo Dai-chi’s two-out single with the bases juiced to tie the game at 2-all, setting the stage for Liu’s solo shot that gave their team the lead for good.
Earning the victory with six solid innings of work was Lion starter Tsai Jing-hao, who fell behind early in the game, but managed to keep his composure long enough for the Lions offense to bail him out as the rookie right-hander improved to 5-1 for the year.
Taking the loss was his counterpart Lee, who failed to protect a two-run lead that his offense had spotted him as he fell to 3-6 for the year.
“Kuo’s two-run single really hurt us tonight,” Elephants manager Chen Rei-chen said after the game.
BULLS 11, MONKEYS 4
Four fifth-inning runs by the Sinon Bulls blew an otherwise close game wide open as they went on to defeat the Lamigo Monkeys at Hsinchu Municipal Baseball Stadium last night.
Chen Chih-wei’s liner to the left-center field gap with the bases loaded drove in three of the four Sinon runs in the decisive fifth. That was the boost that they needed as the Sinon hitters dominated from that point, scoring at least a run in three of the next four innings to put the game away long before the final out.
For the Bulls, the win not only prevented them from being swept by the Monkeys, but it also ended a dreadful nine-game slide as they look to climb out of the cellar in the standings.
Starter Lin Keh-chien was credited with the win, only his second of the year, as he pitched four-run ball on nine hits over 6-1/3 innings, while the loss went to his counterpart, Huang Chin-chih, who lasted just four-plus innings in a shaky outing.