Behind eight shutout innings of two-hit ball by Andy Sisco, the EDA Rhinos took a 3-0 lead into the ninth and held off a late-game rally by the Brother Elephants to scrape a 3-2 win at the Taipei Municipal Baseball Stadium in Tianmu last night.
It was the second straight quality start that the American south paw has turned in since joining the Rhinos at the start of the season, giving him two wins for the season while keeping his current earned-run average at a perfect 0 with 14-2/3 innings of work under his belt.
“It was a big win for us after the way [the Elephants] came back in the end,” Sisco said after the game.
He had a three-run lead nearly blown by the EDA bullpen as the Elephants rang up a pair of runs on three hits off closer Zach Hammes in the bottom of the ninth to make it interesting at the end.
However, with one out and the tying run on third, Hammes managed to strike out the Elephants’ Chang Min-yen to hold the runner before getting Huang Shih-hao to bounce to third for the game-ending out.
Fans in Taipei finally got their wish to see Manny Ramirez in action as the former Major League MVP came through with a single off Elephant starter Lin Yu-ching in the top of the first to get the sellout crowd of 10,000-plus on their feet after a rain-delayed start.
Even though Ramirez’s hit did not result in a run for the visitors, it provided a necessary boost to the Rhinos, who came right back at Lin in the top of the second with three runs on the strength of a single, a walk, and two costly errors by the Elephants defense to take an early 3-0 lead.
That was all the runs that the Rhinos would plate against the tough Elephant pitching as the Brother bullpen backed up Lin’s 3-2/3 innings of play with 5-1/3 innings of scoreless relief to keep the home side in the game.
Taking the loss was Lin, who fell victim to the two errors by his defense in the decisive second, all three of the runs he gave up being scored as unearned.