Five first-inning runs by the Uni-President Lions set the tone early in the game as they cruised past the Brother Elephants 7-1 at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium yesterday to sweep the three-game series.
The win brought the Cats to within half a game of the league-leading EDA Rhinos, who dropped a narrow 2-1 decision to the Lamigo Monkeys in their series finale in Taoyuan, making it a two-team race for the first-half title with the month winding down.
The Lions wasted no time against a shaky Lin “Little Chick” En-yu as they batted around the order in the top of the first to collect five rare runs off the Elephant ace, who had given up only a lone run in his previous two starts.
Lin left the mound after serving up six runs over three innings in his worst effort of the season so far.
While Lin struggled against the Lions hitters, his counterpart Luo Ching-lung was enjoying his best outing of the season, as the former minor league prospect for the Colorado Rockies pitched one-run ball on five hits over seven solid innings to record his first career victory as a professional in Taiwan.
Leading the way at the plate for the Lions, who roughed up the Elephants’ pitchers all game, were Chen Yung-chi and Kao Chih-kang, whose combined six-for-nine hitting with four RBIs capped what ended up being a 22-run scoring spree over a three-game span.
MONKEYS 2, RHINOS 1
Yeh Chu-hsuan made the most of his call-up from the minor leagues with a rare triple and scored a run to help the Lamigo Monkeys edge past the EDA Rhinos in a 2-1 thriller at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium yesterday.
The win not only nipped a four-game slide for the defending champions, but it also avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the league leaders.