Miscues on the part of the Uni-President Lions defense proved costly as they committed three errors that led to four unearned runs in a 6-1 loss to the Brother Elephants at the Sinjhuang Baseball Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Having secured the first-half title long before the game, skipper Terushi Nakashima opted to go with Liu Yu-cheng and Lee Yu-rue to start the game at second base and shortstop respectively to give his regulars, Lin Yi-shiang and Chen Yong-chi, the night off.
That decision hurt the Cats dearly as the infield tandem committed an error each that helped the Elephants plate four as the men in the golden uniforms ended the first half of the season on a down note.
Starter Tsai Jing-hao gave up a quick run in the opening frame on a pair of singles and a wild pitch that scored a runner from third, but he regrouped in a hurry to keep the damage to a minimum.
The 1-0 score lasted until the top of the fourth when the Lions answered with a run off Elephants starter Cheng Hong-chi as Chang “OEO” Tai-shan led off the inning with a single and scored three batters later on a sacrifice fly up the middle by Kuo Dai-chi to tie the game at 1-1.
Then came a three-run fourth for the Elephants as a fielding error by Tsai on an apparent sacrifice bunt attempt placed men on first and second with no outs. Both runners ended up scoring for the Elephants to give them a three-run cushion by the end of the inning.
That was more than plenty for Cheng, who fanned a career-high seven with only one allowed run into the fifth, before the Elephants bullpen did its job to preserve the victory for the former Toronto Blue Jays prospect.
Taking the loss was Tsai, who fell to a 1-2 record for the year, with five runs charged against him (only one earned).
BULLS 9, MONKEYS 3
The Sinon Bulls bounced back from a 14-10 loss to the Lamigo Monkeys on Monday with a 9-3 win over the Primates on Tuesday night at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium to end an otherwise disappointing first half on a high note.
Lin Chih-sheng collected his 900th career hit on the night for the Monkeys, but that was the lone highlight for Lamigo as they gave up nine or more runs for the second straight game to lose long before the final out.
The Bulls picked up where they left off in the suspended game from earlier in the season in which they led 3-0 after one inning with a pair of runs in the top of the second that made it 5-0.
Even though the Monkeys managed to counter with two runs of their own in the bottom of the second, it did not stop the red-hot Sinon hitters from piling on 16 hits en route to a colossal victory.
Lee Chi-wei was credited with his third win of the season for pitching a scoreless fifth and sixth, while the loss went to the Monkeys’ original starter Leo DiNardo, who gave up three runs in the first before the game was suspended.