Chen Chin-fong’s walk-off home run, his first of the season, broke a two-all deadlock two outs into the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Lamigo Monkeys past the top-ranked Uni-President Lions 4-2 at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium last night.
It was the second straight -extra-innings win that the Monkeys pulled off against the defending champs following Friday night’s 4-3 thriller over 10 frames to help reduce the Lions’ lead over the second-place Primates to a lone game in the standings.
“Sorry to have kept you waiting for so long,” Chen said to a crowd of about 2,000 after the game as he received the game MVP honor from the league official.
Chen made sure the overdue homer translated directly into a win for the home team as they looked to make up some ground on the Cats.
The Monkeys jumped to a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second against Lions starter Yuya Kamada on back-to-back RBI singles by Shih Chih-wei and Tseng Hao-jui.
The lead seemed more than ample for Monkeys starter Matt DeSalvo, who took a no-hitter into the seventh until Pan Wu---hsiung lined a single up the middle to lead off the inning and set up Kao Guo-ching’s game-tying two-run blast.
Each bullpen held its ground over the next two innings to force the contest into extra innings until Chen’s monstrous swing promptly ended the game a tad short of the four-hour mark.
Closer Hsu Ming-jeh picked up his second straight win in as many nights for getting the final Lion batter out in the 10th to improve to 2-0 for the year, while the loss went to his counterpart Wang Jing-ming, who served up Chen’s game-winner over 1-2/3 innings of relief duty.
Elephants 13, Bulls 1
The Brother Elephants avenged a tough loss the night before by erupting for 13 hits to humble the Sinon Bulls at the Tianmu Baseball Stadium in Taipei last night.
Starter Lin Yu-ching had his signature split-finger fastball working to near-perfection as he allowed a lone run on seven hits, while fanning 11 and walking four to pick up the complete-game victory.
The rookie standout, who opened the season for the men in the golden uniforms, had not won since opening day despite recording three consecutive quality starts over the same span.
Offensively for the Elephants, Wang Sheng-wei and Chen -Jiang-ho’s combined 4-for-8 hitting drove in seven of their team’s runs.