The Uni-President Lions nipped a six-game losing skid with a convincing 8-3 road win over the EDA Rhinos at Cheng Ching Lake Baseball Stadium in Greater Kaohsiung last night to avoid a series sweep against their nemeses from Tainan.
Liu Fu-hao’s two-run triple sparked a four-run seventh that blew a 3-1 Lions lead wide open. It was exactly what the doctor ordered for the slumping Cats after the front office announced the temporary demotion of manager Terushi Nakashima and pitching coach Makoto Kito to the minors in an attempt to bring some “changes to the team.”
The move proved effective for the Lions as interim skipper Chen Lien-hung got a solid performance out of Wang Ching-ming, who held the Rhinos offense to an unearned run on three hits over five innings to earn the much-needed win.
The regular setup man, who was named a starter for the first time in two years and Wang made sure he did not make a fool out of Chen for making such a bold move.
Trailing 7-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Rhinos managed to plate a pair of runs off Lions reliever Chiang Cheng-fong on Lin Wei-en’s two-run single.
That was as close as the first-half champions got as the Lions concluded the scoring with a run in the eighth and closed it out with a scoreless eighth and ninth from Kao Chien-san and Lin Yueh-ping.
MONKEYS 5, ELEPHANTS 4, 10 INNS
Lin Cheng-yi’s walk-off single with a runner on third scored the game-winner in the bottom of the 10th as the Lamigo Monkeys edged past the Brother Elephants 5-4 at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium last night to sweep the weekend series against the league leaders.
It was the second straight one-run game that the defending champions have taken from the Elephants after allowing the men in the golden uniforms to rally late in the game to send it into the extra session, before winning it in the 10th.
Back-to-back hits by Tsan Chih-yao and Lin Hung-yu with runners in scoring position gave the Primates a quick 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first, before they added another two in the fourth when Kuo Sho-yen and Chung “Yo Yo Man” Cheng-yo knocked in two with consecutive sacrifice flies.
The Elephants produced a run in the fifth that made it 4-2, before scoring two more in the eighth off the Monkeys’ bullpen that tied it 4-4, setting up the dramatic finish in the extra inning.
J.D. Durbin was credited with his second win in as many days to improve to 5-1 for the season.