Chang “OEO” Tai-shan homered for the first time in nearly five months, while Liao Wen-yang pitched five solid innings of two-run ball as the Uni-President Lions roughed up the Chinatrust Brothers 9-3 at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium last night.
The win not only avenged a tough loss to the Brothers by the same margin in Chiayi the night before for the Cats, but also evened the weekend series between the two squads at one win apiece as they get set to do battle once more in the series finale this evening.
Chang’s resurgence after more than three months of “farm time” in the minors could be just what the Lions need to get back in winning form as they make one final push for the post-season from the last spot in the standings, one game behind the third-place Lamigo Monkeys.
Rookie starter Wang Tzu-an simply could not handle the potent Lions lineup, which rang up five runs on four hits against him in just 2-1/3 innings of work. Even though two of the runs he surrendered were unearned, the sixth start for the righty was a rough one nonetheless.
Following Wang’s early exit, his successor Cheng Chi-hung managed to keep his team in the game with 3-2/3 innings of shutout ball in a 5-2 game. However, that was as close as the Brothers got as reliever Guan Da-yuan served up four more runs in the seventh, highlighted by Chang’s three-run blast, to seal their fate.
Picking up his ninth win of the season was Liao, who improved to a 9-4 mark, while the loss by Wang set him back to a 1-6 record for the year.
MONKEYS 4, RHINOS 2
The Lamigo Monkeys doubled up on the EDA Rhinos in a 4-2 score at the Cheng Ching Lake Baseball Stadium in Greater Kaohsiung last night to maintain their slim one-game lead over the last-place Lions in the standings.
Starter Wang Yi-cheng kept the damage to a minimum, despite allowing eight hits over 5-2/3 innings as he gave up only two runs to the Rhino offense before his bullpen came in to bail him out in the sixth.
Offensively for the Primates, the night belonged to Huang Hao-ran and Chung “Yo Yo Man” Cheng-yo, as the hitting tandem homered in the same game for the first time this season to provide just enough fire for the win.
Ace closer Miguel Mejia pitched a perfect ninth for his league-leading 31st save of the season to preserve the win for Wang, who was named the game-MVP for his solid effort off the mound. He is now 6-2 with an ERA of 3.23.
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