Makeup week continued with the CPBL managing to fit in a game between the Uni-President Lions and the Brother Elephants at the Sinjhuang Baseball Stadium in New Taipei City on Monday night, in which the Elephants prevailed 3-1 amid the recent wet weather.
Peng “Chia Chia” Cheng-min’s two-run home run off Lions starter Kao Jien-san in the bottom of the first was the difference in the game as the Elephants struck early and held off several Lions scoring threats to win it.
“[Kao] left the pitch too high over the plate, so I just took a good swing at it,” Peng said after the game.
His .290 batting average may be his lowest in an 11-year career, but his on-base percentage of .414 still makes him a threat to opposing pitchers.
Southpaw starter Luis Gonzalez fanned seven through the first three frames on one-run ball and seemed well on his way to his fifth win of the season when a sudden cramp in his throwing hand forced him to leave the game after the third inning.
That meant an early run to the office for reliever Guan Da-yuan, who ably filled in for Gonzalez with three scoreless innings of one-hit ball to keep the Lions bats at bay.
Even though Gonzalez’s replacement, Yeh Ding-ren, served up a pair of walks to place the tying runs on first and second with one out in the seventh, reliever Luo Guo-hua was able to bail out the Elephants by getting the next hitter to fly out and striking out the Lions’ Pan “TAKE” Wu-hsiung to end the Lions’ scoring threat.
Lee Guan-chui and Brad Thomas tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth to preserve the victory.
Uni-President had several scoring opportunities in the game with the same number of hits [eight] as the Elephants, but failed to cash in on them as they batted a dismal 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, including seven strikeouts and two double plays.
Picking up the victory was Guan, who improved to 6-2 on the season, while the loss was charged against Kao, who dropped his second consecutive start after moving from the bullpen to the starting rotation, following several injuries to key Elephants starters.