The Brother Elephants overcame an early deficit to defeat the Lamigo Monkeys 8-5 at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium last night to claim their three-game series 2-1.
Starter Lin Yu-ching did not have his usual pinpoint control, with five walks in as many innings, but managed to pitch out of trouble more often than not to keep the Primates to three runs through the fifth.
That gave the Elephants offense just enough leeway to rough up the Lamigos pitching as they rang up two runs off starter Wang Yi-cheng over four frames before jumping all over reliever Huang Chung-chen for four runs on four hits in the game-turning fifth to stay ahead for good.
Following two quick outs against Huang, the Elephants hitters suddenly turned their game up a notch by connecting on four straight singles and a hit batsman to score twice and load up the bases.
That set up Chang Cheng-wei’s two-run double off reliever Hsieh Chang-rong, who entered in relief of Huang.
The four-run fifth, followed by a two-run sixth gave the Elephants an 8-3 cushion.
The Primates managed to to reduce this to 8-5, but the Elephants bullpen held its ground with a scoreless eighth and ninth to preserve the victory for Lin.
RHINOS 1, LIONS 9
Luo Ching-lung tossed five innings of one-run ball, Chang “OEO” Tai-shan drove in three runs on a perfect three-for-three night, and the Uni-President Lions humbled the EDA Rhinos by a 9-1 margin at the Taipei Municipal Baseball Stadium in Tianmu last night to take the three-game series.
It was a big win for the last-place Cats who still trail the top-ranked Brother Elephants by 3.5 games in the standings with a little over a month remaining in the regular season in what promises to be a tight race for the second-half title.
Contrary to what the final score suggested, the visiting Rhinos drew first blood with a run off Luo in the top of the first, when Chang Chien-ming led off the game with a walk and came around to score on Chen Kai-lung’s double down the leftfield line.
The 1-0 advantage for the Rhinos lasted just an inning as the feisty Lions came right back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the second, courtesy of a blooper single by Liu Yu-chen and a sacrifice fly by Lee Yu-rue.
However, that was as close as the Rhinos got as Luo cruised through the fifth without allowing another runner to reach scoring position en route to his sixth win of the season.