Chang Chih-hao’s three-run homer off Lin Chen-hua sparked what ended up being a eight-run third for the Chinatrust Brother Elephants as they roughed up the EDA Rhinos 9-1 at Cheng Ching Lake Baseball Stadium in Greater Kaohsiung last night to even their weekend series at one win apiece.
It was the second straight night that the Elephant outfielder homered, bringing his long-ball total to four for the season, second only to Uni-President Lions slugger Deng Chih-wei’s league-best five. The three RBIs that Chang racked up also upped his team-best total to 15, as the men in the golden uniforms look to add a much-needed boost to their anemic offense.
“It’s been a nice couple of days for me at the plate with the calls going my way,” a modest Chang said after the game.
His team had scored six or more runs just four times in the 29 games played prior to last night’s contest, including 14 games in which they scored two or fewer runs for a league-worst 3.48 runs-per-game average.
Also starring for the Elephants was starter Cheng Kai-wen, who tossed eight strong innings of one-run ball on five hits to improve to 2-0 for the season. Other than a three-hit third in which he kept the Rhinos to a lone run, the former Hanshin Tiger (of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League) hurler was virtually unhittable, fanning seven, while walking one in the fifth quality start that he has had in six chances.
Unlike what the final score suggested, the Elephants actually fell behind briefly in the top of the third, when Lin Wei-ting singled off Cheng with two outs, stole second and scored on Kao Hsiao-yi’s opposite-field single.
That was the only run the Elephants surrendered, with Cheng in full command of his pitches the rest of the way to beat his counterpart Lin, who remained winless at 0-3 in a dismal outing.
Monkeys 4, Lions 3
Lin “Chubby Kid” Hung-yu’s two-run blast in the top of the eighth rallied the Lamigo Monkeys from a run down as they held on to defeat the Uni-President Lions 4-3 at the Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium last night to even their weekend series at one win each.
The win not only avenged a tough loss by the Primates to the Lions by the same score the night before, but also nipped a two-game slide for them as they reclaimed a 3.5 game lead over the second-placed Lions at the midway point of the first half of the season.
It also wasted a three-RBI effort by Lions slugger Deng, who went deep with a two-run shot in the bottom of the fourth for his league-best fifth homer of the season before driving home the tiebreaking run in the seventh on a three-for-four night.
Picking up the win was reliever Chen Yu-hsun, while the loss was charged to Fu Yu-kang, who served up Lin’s game-turning home run in the top of the eighth.