Miscues on the part of the Lamigo Monkeys defense led to the tiebreaking run for the Brother Elephants in the bottom of the eighth as the men in the golden uniforms rallied from behind with three unanswered runs to escape with a 3-2 win at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium last night.
The victory not only claimed the weekend series in central Taiwan for the Elephants, but also extended their current win streak to three straight as they widened their lead over the last-placed Primates to a season-high 4.5 games.
A misfire by Monkeys catcher Huang Hao-ran on an attempt to gun down the runner at third following a passed ball by Huang that allowed the runner to advance from second scored the go-ahead run for the Elephants in the bottom of the eighth.
That was the difference in the game, as Brad Thomas retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth, highlighted by an alert play by first baseman Peng “Chia Chia” Cheng-min, who promptly picked up a dropped ball after a failed fielding attempt to get the runner at second for the game-ending out.
It was Chia Chia’s superior defensive play that saved the game, as the runner he gunned down would have been the tying run for the Monkeys.
The visitors wasted little time getting to Elephants starter Chen Hung-wen with a quick run off the Elephants starter on the virtue of two singles and a double to take a 1-0 lead in the opening frame and doubled the advantage in the second, when Kuo Hso-yen led off the inning with a single off Chen and scored two outs later on an RBI single by Huang.
The 2-0 lead for the Monkeys stood through the fifth, with starter Wang Fong-hsin pitching three-hit ball in a magnificent effort before giving up a run in the sixth to lose the shutout bid.
With a run under their belts, the Elephants offense struck again in the seventh to tie the game 2-all and set up the go-ahead run.
Setup man Hiroki Sanada was credited with his first win of the year for his one inning of one-hit relief, while the loss was charged against the Monkeys’ Chen Cheng-da.
Lions 7, Rhinos 6
Back-to-back walks by two EDA Rhino pitchers with the bases loaded scored a pair of runs that capped a four-run sixth to help the Uni-President Lions rally to defeat the Rhinos at the Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium last night.
Trailing by two to start the top of the ninth, the Rhinos managed to plate a run off Lions closer Lin Yueh-ping and actually had the tying run on board, before Lin calmly got Lin Wei-en on a grounder to second for the game-ending out.