Chang “OEO” Tai-shan homered for the 11th time this year and Yuya Kamada overcame a shaky two-run first with six innings of shutout ball through the seventh as the Uni-President Lions went on to defeat the Brother Elephants in a 7-2 final at the Taipei Municipal Baseball Stadium in Tianmu last night to clinch the weekend series.
It marked the 15th straight season (16 overall) that the future hall-of-famer has picked up double-digit homers over an impressive 17-year career, giving him 266 long balls and counting, which is more than 100 more than the next hitter in line — Lin Chih-sheng of the Monkeys.
As for Kamada, the veteran righty from the land of the samurais was his usual self, despite serving up a pair of runs in an uncharacteristic three-hit first, as he cruised through the seventh with only two more hits allowed to give the Lions offense plenty of chances to get back into the game.
He was credited with his league-best 14th win of the year in another quality start.
The Elephants wasted little time getting on the board, with Chang Cheng-wei leading off the game with a clean single to left and scoring three batters later on an RBI single by Peng “Chia Chia” Cheng-min off Kamada.
The Brothers would score again in the same inning to spot starter Lin Yu-ching a 2-0 advantage which lasted less than two innings, as the Lions answered with Chang Tai-shan’s solo blast in the second to half the deficit and skidded ahead for good with a three-run third on the strength of three singles and a double.
The 4-2 lead for the Cats would remain through the sixth with neither offense able to score again, until the Lions came up big against Elephants reliever Guan Da-yuan in a three-run seventh to put the game away.
Bulls, Monkeys postponed
The match between the Sinon Bulls and the Lamigo Monkeys at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium was called off because of rainy weather.
That might have been the only thing that could stop the free-swinging Monkeys, who had gone 3-0 in this week’s play with an amazing 14.3 runs per game scoring average.
Friday night’s contest against the Bulls saw the Primates set a new mark in single-game scoring, with 24 runs on the night in a 24-5 slaughter of the Bulls.
Chen Chin-fong went deep twice against the Sinon pitching to record his ninth career multi-homer outing, while four other Monkey hitters followed suit.
The four two-run home runs that the Monkeys blasted, in what ended up being an 11-run seventh, also set a new high for most two-run shots in an inning as the Monkeys hitters took turns teeing off against the Bulls pitching.
Skipper Liu Rong-hua went so deep into his pitching staff in an effort to stop the Lamigo hitters that even outfielder Yu Hsien-ming was called to the mound in the ninth to face the final two Monkeys hitters.
Yu was the eighth hurler that Liu sent in on a night the Monkeys pounded the ball so hard and so far that it made no difference who was pitching.