Led by talisman Peng Cheng-min’s three-run homer, the Brothers Baseball Club scored early last night and the bullpen held firm to thrash the EDA Rhinos 9-2 and seize a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven CPBL Taiwan Series at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium.
Going into the third inning tied at 1-1, the Brothers broke the game open when Peng drilled an offering from the Rhinos’ American pitcher Jared Landsford and deposited it in the stands over the left-field wall with two men on the bases.
The three-run shot was key to the five-run assault in the third that made it 6-1 and the Brothers rode the momentum to grab the victory in Game 2.
Photo: Liao Yao-tung, Taipei Times
Unlike Game 1, the Rhinos could not muster a rally in the later innings and they fell to their second straight defeat.
The contest began with Brothers right-hander Nathan Long battling against his compatriot Lansford, the son of Carney Lansford, the former Oakland A’s star and World Series winner in 1989.
Long got the better of the contest and pocketed the win for yielding just one run through seven innings.
Lansford was charged with the loss after he was rocked in the pivotal third frame and tagged for six hits and six runs in a short outing.
Sixteen-year veteran Peng, nicknamed “Cha Cha” by the Brothers fans, achieved a rare feat by taking the Most Valuable Player honor on two successive nights, after he was the most consistent hitter in Game 1, going three-for-three.
In the post-game interview, Peng gave the credit to his team’s two starters, Long and Bryan Woodall, for keeping the game close until the batters could string some hits together.
“It was a big team effort tonight and the five-run third inning was the key. Then we let the relief pitchers do their job,” Peng said.
Peng also thanked the 20,000 capacity crowd for the second night in a row, most of them clad in the Brothers’ traditional yellow and offering the team boisterous support.
“The bullpen held up tonight and that was also very important. I did not want to see another EDA comeback, like they did on Saturday. So I convened all the pitchers for a pep talk earlier today, and gave them instructions on what they should and should not do. It was a good win and we are in high spirits right now,” Brothers head coach Wu Fu-lien said.
“We must try to get back into the series after falling to two losses. I will give my players a rest tomorrow [Monday], then make a fresh start for Game 3 in Taoyuan [tomorrow]. I believe our offense can fight back and overturn the deficit,” Rhinos head coach Yeh Chun-chang said.
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