Teeing off against the opposing pitching with a season-high 23 hits, the Uni-President Lions roughed up the Lamigo Monkeys in a 21-0 shutout at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium last night to even the weekend series at one win apiece.
The win not only avenged a 3-0 shutout by the Monkeys against the Lions the night before, but also put the Monkeys on notice that the top-ranked Cats are not to be messed with in any way.
Starter Yuya Kamada was nearly perfect off the mound as he took a no-hitter one out into the seventh, before the home Monkeys’ Kuo Wei-sho beat out a soft roller to second for an infield single to break up the Japanese ace’s bid for the league’s first no-hitter this year.
Kuo’s single proved to be the lone hit that the Primates collected on the night, as Kamada cruised through the eighth unharmed with a season-high 11 strikeouts, before reliever Huang Chih-long retired the final three batters in order in the ninth to preserve the masterpiece for the righty from the land of the samurais.
Kamada is now 9-0 with a miniscule earned run average of 1.45, leading the league in both pitching statistical categories by a mile, compared with the next-best hurler.
Doing the damage at the plate for the visiting Cats were Kao Guo-ching and Deng Chih-wei, who both homered and combined for nine RBIs on the night in a total offensive explosion. All but one of the Lions starting lineup had at least one hit, with seven of them having multi-hit games.
What had been a pitchers’ duel through the fourth between Kamada and the Monkeys’ Leonard DiNardo turned into a massacre, with the Lions sending 14 hitters to the plate to knock in nine runs that blew a 1-0 score wide open at 10-0.
By the time the Lions were done with their bats in the ninth, the Monkeys had gone through a half-dozen pitchers on a night in which their pitches looked larger than a softball to the Lions hitters, who found more ways to drive the ball past the Monkeys defenders than one could ever imagine.