Chang Yung-han’s two-out single with runners at the corners capped a two-run eighth that gave the EDA Rhinos a 3-1 lead, and the road Rhinos went on to defeat the Lamigo Monkeys by a 3-2 margin at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium last night to take the weekend series away from home.
The win not only marked the Rhinos’ fourth victory in five chances, but also propelled them to a tie with the Chinatrust Brothers for first place in the standings, with the Brothers dropping their contest against the Uni-President Lions at the same time.
The highly anticipated showdown between a pair of veteran hurlers, Yang Chien-fu of the Rhinos and the Hsu Ming-chieh of the Monkeys, lived up to its billing in a classic pitchers’ duel, with Yang and Hsu tossing one-run ball through the seventh in a defensive struggle.
However, Hsu would falter in the top of the eighth when Rhinos speedster Chang Chien-ming led off the inning with a single and took second on the ensuing play with a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by Lin Wei-ting.
In came Hu Chin-lung, who belted a go-ahead double off Monkeys reliever Chen Yu-hsun, who entered in rescue of Hsu but could not get the job done as he surrendered another single to place a runner at the corners to set up Chang Yung-han’s clutch single that scored an insurance run for the Rhinos.
Trailing by two, the home Primates managed to plate a run in the bottom of the eighth on the strength of Lin Hung-yu’s RBI single.
That was as close as they got, as the Rhino defense came through on a double-steal attempt by the Monkeys by gunning down the runner at the second to keep the home team from doing further damage, before closer Luis Vizcaino pitched a scoreless ninth to preserve the first win for Yang.
Taking the loss was Hsu, who fell to 5-4 for the year despite allowing two runs on five hits over 7-1/3 innings of work in a quality start.
LIONS 1, BROTHERS 0
In another classic pitchers’ duel between the Uni-President Lions’ Liao Wen-yang and the Chinatrust Brothers’ Chen Hung-wen at the Taipei Tianmu Baseball Stadium last night, Liao came out ahead in a 1-0 shutout with a brilliant performance.
The righty out of Taipei’s Chinese Culture University was magnificent in a three-hit gem against the home Brothers, who did not get a hit off Liao until the fifth inning and managed to place only one runner in a scoring position in the seven innings Liao pitched.
Offensively for the victorious Cats, Deng Chih-wei’s solo blast off Chen in the top of the fourth was the difference in the game as the Brother hurler held his ground over seven solid innings in a losing effort.
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