Lin Chih-sheng’s walk-off homer off Yeh Ding-ren with men on first and second broke a 2-all deadlock in the bottom of the tenth as the Lamigo Monkeys came from behind to top the Brother Elephants 5-2 at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium last night to even the weekend series at one game apiece.
It was the lone hit the Monkeys slugger had all night, but a clutch hit nonetheless which propelled the struggling hosts into the win column, as they won only for the third time in the past 14 contests, desperately needing a change in the positive direction.
“I knew it the moment [the home-run ball] left the bat,” Lin said after the game about the line drive shot that cleared the left-field wall.
The hit was so solid that Elephants left fielder Chou Si-chi did not bother to move and simply watched the ball sail over his head and into the stands.
Lin had a similar hit that was tracked down by an Elephants center fielder at the warning track earlier in the game to end a Monkeys scoring threat, but this time they were not as fortunate.
The Elephants caught a big break in the top of the 10th, when an apparent foul ball on a bunt attempt by Chen Jian-ho that would have been the first out of the inning was ruled a non-bunt foul ball. This gave Chen another chance to advance a runner to second with one out.
The Elephants were unable to capitalize on the play as Peng “Chia Chia” Cheng-min grounded into an inning-ending double play to leave his team empty-handed.
That was the boost the Monkeys needed to turn the game around as they answered with Lin Cheng-yi’s one-out single off Yeh to put the go-ahead run on board, and drew a walk off the Elephants reliever to set up Lin Chih-sheng’s game-clinching swing.
The homer capped a five-run rally that saw the Primates fall behind 2-0 in the top of the fourth when Peng singled off Lamigo starter Ken Ray and scored three batters later on a wild pitch by Ray, before Chen Chih-hong followed with a two-out single that put his team ahead by two.
The Monkeys finally scored in the sixth and tied it in the seventh before sending the game into extra innings.
Monkey reliever Hsu Ming-jeh was credited with the win for getting the final two outs in the 10th, while the loss was charged against Yeh for serving up Lin Chih-sheng’s game-winner.