Chang “OEO” Tai-shan’s two-run homer over the left-center wall blew an otherwise narrow 1-0 game wide open in the top of the eighth as the Uni-President Lions went on to blank the Lamigo Monkeys 6-0 at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium last night to even up the series at one win apiece.
REVERSAL OF FORTUNE
The win not only upped the defending champs’ record to an even 9-9 to tie the Primates for the second place in the standings, but also put a temporary stop to a recent slide for them as they won for just the second time in the past six contests in an effort to duplicate their first-half success that would earn them an automatic 1-0 lead in the annual Taiwan Series.
Pan “TAKE” Wu-hsiung’s two-out single with a runner on second broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth, a score that would hold through the seventh with neither pitching staff giving in an inch to the opposing hitters.
However, that changed in a hurry in the eighth with a thunderous swing by Chang, again with two outs and a man on, to put his team ahead 3-0.
They then piled on three more in the ninth to humble the Monkeys in the end.
Starter Liao Wen-yang came out of the Lions bullpen in just his third start of the season, but pitched as if he had been a member of the starting rotation all along by scattering three singles while walking a pair over 5-1/3 innings of play to pick up win No. 8 for the year. He is now 7-0 with an ERA of 2.87.
Taking the loss was Lamigo reliever Cheng Cheng-hao, who entered in the third in relief of starter Ken Ray and gave up a run on two hits over 2-1/3 innings of work to drop to a 4-5 record for the year.
Bulls 3 Elephants 1
The Sinon Bulls dealt the red-hot Brother Elephants a rare defeat in a 3-1 final at the Taipei Municipal Baseball Stadium in Tianmu last night thanks to a dominant effort by starter Lai Hong-cheng.
The showdown between a pair of former aces for the National Taiwan Sport University, Lai for the Bulls and rookie sensation Lin Yu-ching of the Elephants, was a pitchers’ duel through the fourth with neither offense able to produce any runs in a scoreless tie.
However, the Bulls made sure that the Elephants, winners of ten straight heading into last night’s contest, would not have their way in setting a new team record for win streaks by dialing up four consecutive base hits off Lin to plate three runs in the fifth.
Even though the Elephants finally broke through in the eighth against Lai with a run to deny the rookie lefty a shutout bid, they still fell short by a deuce as the Sinon bullpen held their ground to preserve the first career win for Lai.