The Uni-President Lions made it two wins in a row against the EDA Rhinos with a 6-2 triumph over their archrivals from Greater Kaohsiung at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium last night.
The win not only gave the Cats an overwhelming 15-5 edge in the 20 head-to-head contests against the first-half champs for the second half, but also cut their magic number to clinch the second-half title to one, with two games remaining on their schedule. Another win by the Cats or a loss by the second-place Lamigo Monkeys will send the former straight into the Taiwan Series that is to take place later in the month.
Starter Wang Ching-ming bounced back from an ugly loss in his last start by holding the Rhinos to two runs on eight hits over six decent innings to give his offense plenty of chances to score some runs.
That was exactly what they did as the Lions bats finally came alive, after being held scoreless for four innings, with a two-run fifth that erased an early deficit before erupting for four more runs to seal the victory that made a winner out of Wang.
Leading the attack for the Lions was Tang Jau-ting, whose clutch triple with two on scored both runners to cap a three-run seventh that blew the game wide open.
Also starring for the red-hot Lions were Kao Guo-ching, who belted three hits on the night and drove in a run to send the Rhinos packing long before the final out in the bottom of the ninth.
Taking the loss was starter Lin Chen-hua, who failed to keep the Lions hitters at bay after shutting them down in the first four innings of play. He will end the regular season with a league-best 15-7 record despite the loss.