Tseng Hao-jui drove in all four of the Lamigo Monkeys’ runs on a 2-for-4 effort as they doubled up on the Uni-President Lions in a 4-2 final at the Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium last night.
The win not only evened the weekend series between the two squads in Tainan with a victory each, but also breathed new life into the struggling Primates, because they won for only the second time in their past seven games to trail the third-placed Brother Elephants by six games.
“I hope [the win] can help put our recent slump behind us and be the beginning of a turnaround,” Tseng said after the game as he accepted the game MVP honor from league officials.
It is the first time he has won the honor this year, after seeing limited action because of injury earlier this season.
It was his two-run blast off Lions starter Mike McClung that gave the traveling Monkeys a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first.
He single-handedly doubled the Monkeys’ lead in the third with a two-run double off the right-center wall to put his team ahead 4-0.
The home Cats managed to get a run back in the bottom of the same inning on the strength of Chen Yung-chi’s sacrifice fly off Lamigo starter Wang Fong-hsin and made it 4-2 in the fifth when Kao Chih-kang led off the inning with a double and scored on a wild pitch by Wang. However, that was as close as they got as the Monkeys right-hander answered with a perfect sixth and seventh before calling it a night.
After Hsieh Chang-rong tossed a perfect eighth, Hsu Ming-jeh followed with a perfect ninth to preserve the win for Wang.
Taking the loss was McClung, who pitched well enough to win with four allowed runs (three earned) on six hits, falling short of an even more impressive outing by Wang.
ELEPHANTS 7, RHINOS 4
Overcoming a three-run deficit with six unanswered runs in the sixth and seventh, the Brother Elephants turned the table on the EDA Rhinos with a 9-4 win at the Sinjhuang Baseball Stadium in New Taipei City last night to avenge Friday’s loss.
Huang Shih-hao’s nifty slide to the plate on a passed ball by Rhinos reliever Chen Huan-yang just avoided the tag by Chen to cap off a four-run seventh that gave the Elephants a 7-4 lead.
The Elephants completed the rout on the league-leaders with two more runs in the ninth.
Starter Lin En-yu was credited with the win for his six innings of four-run ball on nine hits, while the loss was charged to reliever Lai Hong-cheng, who surrendered the winning runs to the Elephants in the forgettable seventh.