Sun, Aug 11, 2019 - Page 11 News List

Lamigo’s Kuo hits historic homer after late arrival

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Kuo Yen-wen of the Lamigo Monkeys celebrates after hitting the Hualien County Stadium’s 100th home run on Friday in their game against the Uni-President Lions in Hualien City.

Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times

Despite travel disruptions caused by Typhoon Lekima, the Lamigo Monkeys on Friday cranked out two homers among 12 hits in their 10-5 defeat of the Uni-President Lions to open their weekend series in Hualien.

The game also featured a milestone set by Lamigo second baseman Kuo Yen-wen, who hit Hualien County Stadium’s 100th home run with a solo dinger in the sixth inning.

Completed in 2001, the ballpark hosted its first CPBL contest, between the Sinon Bulls and the Brother Elephants, on May 3 the following year.

Due to its location, the ballpark is not regularly used by the league, but one or two series are usually held there in summer.

“I always enjoy coming to Hualien — this is my second homer in this ballpark,” Kuo said. “On my days off I visit Hualien to relax. Whether for vacation or baseball, I feel very comfortable here.”

The Lions opened strong with three runs in the opening frame and added one more in the fourth to go in front 4-0.

However, Lamigo starter Wang “Sister” Yi-cheng and his teammates took the lead with a five-run burst in the fifth on a two-run single by outfielder Lan Yin-lun and three-run homer by catcher Lin Hung-yu.

The Monkeys then piled on four more runs in the next inning to ensure victory, powered by Kuo’s milestone homer.

The win raised Wang’s record to 10-2 after striking out 10 and yielding four runs through six innings.

The Monkeys are now in first place in the league and can claim to have the best pitching staff, as Lamigo are the only team to have three pitchers with at least 10 victories each after Wang joined Radhames Liz from the Dominican Republic (10-5) and Michael Nix from the US (11-5).

The win was unusual, as Lamigo’s starters did not have time to warm up after arriving about an hour before the game’s start at 6:30pm.

Team officials said that the players were scheduled to depart from New Taipei City’s Banciao Station at noon for arrival in Hualien at about 3pm.

However, all east coast trains were canceled until 2pm due to the typhoon and team officials scrambled to purchase tickets with help from railway staff.

The team had to split up, with the starting players traveling on two separate trains.

Kuo said that they arrived at just after 5pm, while the second group reached the ballpark at 5:40pm, leaving no time to practice.

As the team could only secure two seated tickets, they were given to Lin and Wang, while the rest of the team had to stand for more than two hours, Lin said, joking that the first few innings were their warmup.

The Lions were not affected by the typhoon, as the team arrived in Hualien on Wednesday for a game against the Guardians that they lost 10-5.

In yesterday’s games, the Brothers Baseball Club thrashed the Fubon Guardians 8-1 at Taipei’s Tianmu Stadium, while Lamigo followed up their success by shutting out the Lions 10-0.

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