Peng “Chia Chia” Cheng-min’s two-out double with men on second and third scored the go-ahead runs in the top of the eighth as the Brother Elephants rallied from a run down to top the Lamigo Monkeys 3-2 at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium last night to clinch the weekend series by a 2-1 margin.
It was the third hit that the Elephant slugger managed to collect off the Monkey’s pitching as he drove in all three of his team’s runs on the night to singlehandedly -defeat their archrivals for a big road victory.
“[Matt DeSalvo’s] pitch caught too much of the plate, which gave me a chance for a good swing at it,” Peng said after the game.
His outstanding effort also earned him the game’s MVP honor.
The highly anticipated showdown between the Elephants’ Tseng Song-wei and the Monkeys’ Cheng Cheng-hao did not live up to its hype as the hitters broke through early against both starters with three combined runs in the opening frame — a run by the Elephants and two from the Lamigo hitters.
However, both hurlers settled down in a hurry as Tseng kept the Primates off the board through the seventh before turning to his bullpen for help. Cheng cruised through the fifth without giving up another run, while clinging to a slim 2-1 lead.
In came Monkeys reliever DeSalvo, who retired six of the next eight batters he faced to carry the Monkeys well into the seventh before surrendering a single and back-to-back doubles that led to the Elephants’ two game-turning runs.
DeSalvo was tagged with a blown save and the loss as he fell to a 4-3 mark for the year, while the win went to a very deserving Tseng, who picked up his first win of the season with seven solid innings of two-run ball on six hits and a season-high five strikeouts.
Despite the loss, Lamigo hitter Chen Guan-ren reached a new milestone by getting his 700th career hit on the night with a pinch-hit single in the eighth against his former club.
BULLS 4, LIONS 1
The Sinon Bulls also rallied from a one-run deficit with four unanswered runs to humble the top-ranked Uni-President Lions 4-1 at the Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium last night.
Chang Jien-ming’s two-run blast off Lion starter Yuya Kamada was the difference in the game as the Bulls nipped a 26-inning scoring drought with Chang’s long ball, which gave his team the lead for good.
The win not only avoided a series sweep by the Cats for them, but also brought the Bulls into the win column for the first time in the second half.
Starter Lin Cheng-hua fell behind right away with an unearned run allowed in the bottom of the first, but came back strong by pitching shutout ball two outs into the sixth before being pulled. He accomplished mission impossible by beating a previously undefeated Kamada who fell to a still unhumanly 11-1 in his first loss of the year.