The Sinon Bulls won their third straight in a narrow 3-2 triumph against the Brother Elephants at the Taipei Municipal Baseball Stadium in Tianmu last night to clinch the weekend series at home by a 2-1 margin.
The win not only sent the Elephants to their season-worst fifth straight defeat, but more importantly cost them the lead in the standings as they coughed up the top spot, which they have held since July 8.
“It’s all part of the game; you can only worry about things that you have control over,” Brother skipper Chen Rei-chen said after the game.
His troops had surged from a third-place finish in the first half to the top spot in the second half before their current five-game slide.
In a game where the Elephants actually outhit the Bulls by a considerable 10-6 margin, it was the men in the familiar golden uniform who struck first in the top of the first when Chang Cheng-wei led off the game with a walk and scored three batters later on a two-out double by Peng “Chia Chia” Cheng-min.
The 1-0 advantage would last less than an inning, as the Bulls answered with the equalizer in the bottom of the same frame, courtesy of back-to-back singles by Yu Hsien-ming and Cheng Jau-han to set up Chang Jien-ming’s RBI groundout.
Chang would homer and triple on what ended up being a 2-for-3 night to account for all three of his team’s runs that made him the unanimous choice for the game MVP honor.
Starter Lin Chi-wei was credited with his fourth win of the season, allowing a run on six hits over 5-2/3 innings of work to beat Elephants starter Tseng Song-wei, who gave up all three of the Bulls’ runs on five hits over seven frames for his third defeat of the year.
Lions 7, Monkeys 10
Chen Guan-ren tied a league record for most hits in a single game with five, to lift the Lamigo Monkeys past the Uni-President Lions 10-7 at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium last night and take their fifth straight weekend series.
The slugfest that saw the hitters teed off against both starters with 14 combined runs over the first three innings to give the home Primates a 9-5 lead, quickly turned into a defensive standoff between the two bullpens with just three more runs scored the rest of the way.
Leading the way for the Monkeys was game-winner Lin Jing-min, who entered in the third to bail out fellow starter Wang Fong-hsin and lasted into the fifth with one allowed run before being bailed out by Huang Chin-chih himself en route to his second win of the season.
Tagged with the loss was Lions starter Liao Wen-yang, who dug a hole too deep for his offense to recover by giving up eight quick runs over the first two innings to drop his second game of the year.