Chen Hung-wen tossed six scoreless innings of four-hit ball, Lin Wei-chu homered on a two-for-four night, and the Chinatrust Brother Elephants blanked the Uni-President Lions in a 2-0 shutout at the Taipei Municipal Baseball Stadium in Tianmu last night to open the new season with a bang.
The right-hander who had been the closer for the Elephants for a good part of last season made the most of his first start of the year by keeping the Lion hitters off balance all night to give his offense the necessary time to plate a pair of runs for the win.
Doing the damage at the plate for the Elephants was Lin, who lived up to his billing after spending 11 seasons with the Hanshin Tigers of Japan’s NPB by taking Lion starter Nelson Figueroa deep in his second plate appearance for a solo blast that gave his team a 2-0 advantage in the top of the fifth.
Things did not start off well for Chen as he allowed the first two Lions hitters he faced to reach via a pair of base hits.
However, the fireballer was able to pitch out of a two-on-with-no-outs jam by inducing a harmless infield fly and a strikeout to set up an inning-ending fly out to escape the inning unharmed.
That was as close to scoring as the Lions got against Chen as he retired all but two of the next 17 batters he faced before handing a 2-0 shutout lead over to his bullpen in the seventh.
The Lions had one more scoring opportunity against Elephant reliever Wang Tzu-an in the top of the seventh with runners at the corner and one out, but his successor, Huang Chin-chih, was able to put out the fire by fanning the next two batters he faced to keep the shutout intact.
Monkeys 4, Rhinos 3
Lin Hung-yu’s clutch double with a runner on second scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th, as the Lamigo Monkeys held on to defeat the EDA Rhinos 4-3 at the Cheng Ching Lake Baseball Stadium in Greater Kaohsiung last night for an impressive road victory.