Second-half action in the Chinese Professional Baseball League began on Wednesday with a solid road win for the Sinon Bulls, who downed the Uni-President Lions 9-2 at the Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium.
Lin Yi-chuan went deep twice with a pair of solo homers, while starter Lin Keh-chien tossed six quality innings of two-run ball for the Bulls, the first-half champs. The rookie tandem showed no signs of rustiness after a nearly two-week-long mid-season break as they opened the second half in high-flying fashion.
“It was a sweet win for us, since we have lost seven in a row to them [the Lions],” Lin Keh-chien said after the game.
He nipped a two-game losing skid against the Cats to improve to 6-4 for the year.
The contest began with the Bulls wasting little time getting on the board with a run in the top of the first courtesy of Lin Yi-chuan’s solo blast off Lions starter Hsu Yu-wei.
The Bulls’ 1-0 lead lasted less than an inning as the Lions roared right back with a run of their own in the bottom of the same inning on the strength of back-to-back singles by Yang Dong-yi and Pan Wu-hsiung to set up Jose Castillo’s RBI-groundout to short.
Tseng Hua-wei’s chopping single over third with a runner on second quickly scored the Bulls’ second run of the game in the second, before they tacked on two more runs in the fourth, making it 4-1.
Even though the home Cats would get another run during the sixth with Castillo’s second RBI-groundout on the night to pull within a deuce of the Bulls, that was as close as they got. The Bulls launched three homers off Lions reliever Tseng Yi-cheng in the top of the ninth, highlighted by Tseng Hua-wei’s three-run shot off the Lions hurler, to run away with the win.
The three homers in the ninth by the Bulls tied a club record for most homers in an inning.
As for Lin Yi-chuan, the four hits he mustered on the night gave him a total of 99 in just 61 games or 245 at-bats this season, leaving the rookie sensation one hit shy of the century mark as he looks to become the fastest hitter to reach the 100-hit plateau in league history.