The Lamigo Monkeys’ Lin Chih-sheng hit an RBI single off his Monkeys teammate Hsu Ming-jeh to cap a three-run seventh that broke a 6-6 tie as Team White held on to defeat Bank of Taiwan Team Red 9-8 at the Sinjhuang Baseball Stadium in New Taipei City last night in this year’s All-Star Game.
The veteran slugger, who was traded from Team Red to Team White in the first ever player exchange in an All-Star Game, proved to be the difference in the match as he pounded a pitch down the pike from his fellow Lamigo reliever over the middle to score what ended up being the winner.
“Who would’ve thought [Lin Chih-sheng] would end up being the bat that beat us,” Team White manager Hung Yi-chung said after the game.
Hung was the one who announced the deal on Friday when the team swapped Lin Chih-sheng for Lin Yi-chuan of the Sinon Bulls in an effort to raise the level of drama in the annual mid-summer classic.
The win not only ended a 10-year losing streak for the side that contains Sinon Bulls players, what many have called “the Sinon curse,” but it also ended a 10-year victory drought for future Hall-of-Famer Chang “OEO” Tai-shan, who was picked up by the Lions after being released by the Bulls at the end of last season, ridding him of the tag the “Tai-shan curse,” as the Lions were also part of the winning team on the night.
Chang was given the nod by the Team White coaching staff to take the mound for the first time, as the league’s only 1,800-hit and 1,100-RBI man picked up a hold by getting a hitter out in a rare relief appearance in the bottom of the eighth.
“I was actually quite nervous standing all alone out on the mound,” Chang said in the post-game interview.
Picking up the win was Team White’s Chen Huan-yang of the Sinon Bulls, who tossed a perfect sixth to beat Wang for his first win in an All-Star Game.
Bank of Taiwan Team Red made it two wins in a row by topping Team White in a narrow 1:044 to 1:010 margin in the annual base-running contest earlier yesterday for the distinction as the top runners in the league.
With a crew of eight that was essentially the same as last year except for Lin Chih-ping, who replaced Lin Chih-sheng of the Lamigo Monkeys, Team Red blazed around the bases without missing a beat, which was bad news for Team White, who finished with a very respectable time.
The winners went home with the winners’ banner, as well as NT$32,000 in prize money for their efforts.