Saving his best for last, Ken Ray pitched a brilliant one-hit masterpiece to lead the Lamigo Monkeys past the Brother Elephants in a 2-0 triumph at the Taipei Municipal Baseball Stadium in Tianmu last night, clinching the second-half title by a narrow one-and-a-half game margin over the Elephants.
ON THE LINE
With the second-half title and a ticket to this year’s Taiwan Series on the line heading into last night’s contest, the former US big leaguer from Atlanta, Georgia, let it all hang out in the regular season finale for both teams by pitching a no-hitter through the first five innings before surrendering the first hit to the Elephants’ Chen Jiang-ho two outs into the sixth in what was by far his best outing of the season.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
His timely surge promptly gave the Primates the second-half title and the right to take on the Uni-President Lions, who claimed the first-half title in June with a potent lineup that went 37-22-1 on the season, four wins better than the second-place Monkeys.
The highly anticipated showdown between a pair of foreign aces — Ray and compatriot Tyler Lumsden, of the Elephants, lived up to its billing despite a quick two-run first by the Monkeys, courtesy of Lin Hong-yu’s two-out double that drove in the game’s only runs, as the outstanding pitchers dominated by holding the opposing hitters to a collective 5 for 59 (.085) the rest of the way.
“I am glad I was able to continue my success against [Lumsden’s] pitching,” Lin said after the game.
Lin batted .417 against Lumsden during the regular season and got the biggest hit so far this season to clinch a postseason berth for his team.
Lamigo jumped all over Lumsden with a single by Tsai Jien-wei to lead off the game and drew a walk from the US southpaw with two outs to set up Lin’s run-scoring double.
That was all the runs the Monkeys needed with Ray at the top of his game to wrap up the victory. He did not allow a single Elephants runner past first base the entire game, making it virtually impossible for the men in the golden uniforms to score.
Taking the loss was Lumsden, who pitched well enough to win, allowing two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and as many walks on a night he was simply outpitched by Ray.
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