The Lamigo Monkeys yesterday defeated Brothers Baseball Club 4-2 in Game 4 of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) Taiwan Series, with fans celebrating as they clinched the championship at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium.
It was the fifth championship crown for the franchise, having won in 2006 — as the La New Bears — and in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
The series only went to four games, with the Brothers taking the first encounter 8-5, but Lamigo fighting back to dominate the next two games 14-5 and 19-3 before last night’s clincher.
Lamigo’s lefty starter Wang Yi-cheng, who this season is 9-7 with an ERA of 4.60, faced off on the mound against the Brothers’ American right-hander Bryan Woodall, who is 13-8 with an ERA of 3.63.
After a scoreless first inning, Monkeys designated hitter Lin Hung-yu led off the second with a solo homer off Woodall, followed by shortstop Lin Cheng-fei scoring a runner on a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, outfielder Chang Chih-hao sent Wang’s fastball sailing over the right-field wall for a solo home run, reducing the deficit to 2-1.
Both sides failed to score any further runs until the sixth frame, when Lamigo first baseman Chen Chun-hsiu added one with an RBI single, followed by Lin Cheng-fei belting out a double for another to increase the visitor’s lead to 4-1.
Wang and Woodall were pulled at the end of the sixth inning, with Wang taking the win, as he gave up only one run on three hits and struck out six.
Woodall yielded four runs on four hits and two walks, but fanned seven batters.
The Brothers narrowed the gap to 4-2 in the seventh frame, when Chang blasted his second homer of the night off Lamigo’s second pitcher, Chu Chun-hsiang.
In the ninth, Lamigo called up closer Chen Yu-hsun, who broke a CPBL record this year with 37 saves.
Although he allowed two runners on base, he struck out Brothers catcher Huang Chun-sheng for the final out.
Separately yesterday, benched Brothers veterans Lin Chih-sheng and Chiang Chih-hsiang announced that they would play in the Australian Baseball League next season.
Lin Chih-sheng is reportedly to sign with the Brisbane Bandits, while Chiang is to join the Sydney Blue Sox as both attempt to extend their playing careers following a disciplinary scandal.
Both seem to have lost their place with the Brothers after last month’s revelations of disciplinary problems involving them and three other players.
The two reportedly led insubordination against the Brothers’ American manager, Cory Snyder, while there have also been allegations of extramarital affairs.
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