Behind seven strong innings of one-run ball by Nelson Figueroa and a two-run home run by Kuo Dai-chi in the bottom of the fourth, the Uni-President Lions took a 5-1 lead through the seventh and held off a tenacious rally by the Brother Elephants to escape with a 5-3 win at the Douliou County Baseball Stadium last night.
The win not only gave the resurging Cats a 2-1 margin in the weekend series in central Taiwan, but also marked their fifth victory in the past six chances to keep them in the title hunt in the second half.
After three scoreless frames, it was the Elephants who drew first blood against Figueroa in the top of the fourth, when Chou Si-chi led off the inning with an opposite-field double and scored on Huang Shih-hao’s sacrifice fly three batters later to give his team a 1-0 advantage.
The lead lasted less than an inning as the Lions came right back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth, courtesy of Kuo’s two-run blast off Elephant starter Lin Yu-ching that made it 2-1.
The Lions would put up three more runs in the next three innings to take a seemingly comfortable 5-1 lead, before the Elephants mustered one final offensive in the top of the ninth with a pair of runs off Lion closer Lin Yueh-ping.
Lin calmly registered the final three outs to preserve the win for Figueroa, who improved to 4-3 for the season.
MONKEYS 5, RHINOS 1
The Lamigo Monkeys avoided being swept by the EDA Rhinos with a 5-1 win in their weekend finale at the Cheng Ching Lake Baseball Stadium in Kaohsiung last night.
Starter Wang Yi-cheng pocketed his first career win in the league with seven solid innings of work to silence a potent Rhino lineup that had won the previous two games in the series and were looking to sweep the home stand over the weekend.
“It’s an amazing feeling to see so many fans come out to support us, this win is for all of you,” Wang said after learning of his selection to the game-MVP honor.
He had played four seasons with the Yokohama BayStars of Japan’s NPB prior to joining the Monkeys at the start of the season.
Offensively for the victorious Primates, the night belonged to cleanup man Lin Hung-yu, who drove in a pair of runs on a 2-for-5 night to anchor a heart of the order consisting of Chan Chih-yao and Kuo Sho-yen, who batted a collective 5-for-14 in the game to drive in four of their team’s five runs.
Taking the loss for the Rhinos was starter Andy Sisco, who fell victim to a lack of run support despite an effort worthy of a quality start with three allowed runs (two earned) on four hits in 6-2/3 innings of play.
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