The top-ranked Brother Elephants bounced back from a day-night doubleheader sweep on Saturday with a sound 4-1 victory over the Lamigo Monkeys at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium last night to avoid a series sweep over the weekend.
Starter Luis Gonzalez took a 4-0 shutout one out into the ninth before giving up an RBI single to the Monkeys’ Shih Chih-wei to score Chung “Yoyo Man” Cheng-yo who led the inning with a double.
In came Elephant closer Brad Thomas, who served up a single in ensuing play and issued a walk to load the bases before getting Chan Chih-yao to bounce a chopper back to the mound for the game-ending double play to preserve the win for Gonzalez.
The win not only helped avoid a series sweep for the men in the golden uniform, but more importantly ended a four-game losing streak as they added to their lead over the second-place Uni-President Lions by a full game in the standings, with the Cats suffering a loss to the Sinon Bulls in Taichung at the same time.
“That was a big win for us because we looked lost for a bit,” Elephant skipper Chen Rei-chen said after the game.
His troops had won a team-best 10 in a row to build a sizable lead over the Lions for the second half before dropping three of their last four (with the tie over the same span) to keep the Lions in title contention.
Doing the damage at the plate for the Elephants was Peng “Chia Chia” Cheng-ming, who went one-for-three with a pair of RBIs to account for half of his team’s total run production. Also starring was Chou Si-chi, who went three-for-four with an RBI and scored twice on the night to lift his team past their nemeses from Taoyuan.
The Monkeys had several great scoring opportunities early in the game, with runners reaching safety in all but two of the first six innings, but failed to come up with the clutch hits necessary to produce any runs against Gonzalez, plating just one lone run from the seven hits and five walks on offense to lose this one in a hard way.
Bulls 4, Lions 1
The Sinon Bulls also avoided a series sweep over the weekend against the Uni-President Lions, with a 4-1 triumph over the first-half champs at the Sinjhuang Baseball Stadium in New Taipei City last night.
Rookie righty Lin Chen-hua took a three-hit shutout two outs into the eighth before allowing a run-scoring single to the Lions’ red-hot Pan “Take” Wu-hsiung that made it 3-1 in favor of the Bulls.
The Bulls returned the favor with an insurance run in the bottom of the same inning before closer Chen Huan-yang tossed a scoreless ninth to preserve the win for Lin.
Wang Hsin-min’s three-for-four hitting with two RBIs spearheaded a Sinon attack that dialed up 11 hits off the Lion pitching as they stampede over the battered Cats in a convincing manner.