Cheng Cheng-hao pitched 5-1/3 innings of one-run ball and Tsai Jien-wei homered on a two-for-four night as the Lamigo Monkeys topped the Brother Elephants 3-1 at the Pingtung County Baseball Stadium last night to win the weekend series 2-1.
The win avenged an embarrassing 18-3 loss to the Elephants the night before for the Monkeys, ending a tough week of play that saw the league-leaders drop three of their last four.
“We really needed the win to get our composure back,” Monkeys manager Hong Yi-chung said after the game.
His troops have now halved a once-comfortable six-game lead over the Uni-President Lions in the last week, allowing the Lions back into the title race.
“I hope we can get back on track next week,” Hong added.
Tsai led off the bottom of the first with a solo blast off Elephants starter Yeh Yong-jeh and the Monkeys quickly doubled the lead three batters later on Lin Hong-yu’s sacrifice fly that scored the runner from third.
The Elephants got a run back in the top of the second when back-to-back singles by Chou Si-chi and Huang Shih-hao set up Chen Jiang-ho’s sacrifice fly.
That turned out to be the lone run for the Elephants, with Cheng holding his ground well into the sixth, before the Monkeys bullpen took over with 3-1/3 innings of scoreless relief to keep the win intact.
Picking up the win was Cheng, who improved to 5-2 for the season, while the loss was charged to Yeh, who gave up three runs on four hits over 3-1/3 innings of work to fall to 1-2 for the year.
Failure to come up with the timely hits ultimately cost the Elephants the win. They missed several golden scoring opportunities in a game where they outhit the Monkeys 9-6.
Lions 4, Bulls 3
Chang Tai-shan’s two-out single drove in the go-ahead runs in the top of the eighth as the Uni-President Lions went on to defeat the Sinon Bulls 4-3 at the Taichung Municipal Baseball Stadium to win their weekend series 2-1.
Wang Jing-ming threw two innings of one-run relief to win his seventh of the season, while the loss went to his counterpart, Yu Wen-pin, who fell victim to a deadly error that kept the Lions eighth inning going to set up Chang’s go-ahead hit.