Kuo Yen-wen’s stand-up triple off the right-center field wall set up Huang Hao-ran’s RBI single to break a 4-all tie at the bottom of the eighth before the Lamigo Monkeys went on to defeat the Uni-President Lions 7-4 at Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium last night.
It was the second straight night that the Monkeys had come from behind late in the game to rally past the first-half leaders in dramatic fashion, giving them a one-and-a-half-game lead in the standings over the Cats as they head into this afternoon’s series finale.
“It was definitely a big win for us, especially with the way we have played in the last couple of weeks,” Lamigo skipper Hung Yi-chung said after the game.
His team actually enjoyed a lead as large as six games as late as the middle of last month before a slump that cost them the lead through the second week of play in August.
The Primates can wrap up the weekend series in Taoyuan with their third straight win this afternoon for a clean sweep of the Lions that would up their lead to two-and-a-half games.
Neither team wasted any time getting on the board with the Lions drawing first blood in the opening frame against Monkeys starter Steve Hammond with a triple and a double off the US righty to take a 1-0 lead.
After the Monkeys returned the favor at the bottom of the same inning with a run of their own on the strength of three singles, the Lions struck again in the second before tacking on their third run of the contest at the top of the third via Chang “OEO” Tai-shan’s solo blast off Hammond.
Chang gave the Lions a 4-1 lead two innings later with his second solo shot of the night before the Monkeys decided to take their game up a notch.
They managed to chip away at the deficit with a run in the fifth and forced a tie in the seventh with a pair of runs off Lions reliever Wang Jing-ming to set up the the decisive eighth.
Picking up the win was Hammond (9-8), who tossed eight effective innings of four-run ball despite serving up Chang’s two homers, while the loss was charged to Wang, who coughed up the lead by giving up three runs in just two innings of work to lose his sixth of the year.
BULLS 13, ELEPHANTS 5
Erupting for 10 runs in the sixth, the Sinon Bulls also overcame a 4-1deficit to thrash the Brother Elephants at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium last night to split the first two games of the weekend series.
Rookie southpaw Luo Cheng-long (3-2) won his third straight in as many quality starts with eight solid innings of four-run ball — only two of those earned.
Doing the damage at the plate for a recharged Bulls squad was Lin Yi-chuan, who drove in three runs in a 3-for-4 outing to lead his team to victory.
Taking the loss for the Elephants was starter Yeh Ding-ren (4-10), who gave up five runs on six hits over 5-1/3 innings of work.