Pan “Du Du” Wei-luen set a new league mark in career victories with No. 109 as the Uni-President Lions doubled up on the EDA Rhinos in a 6-3 final at the Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium last night.
Stuck on victory No. 108 for more than two months, Pan was not at his best early on against the first-half champs, twice falling behind in the game before Kao Chih-kang’s game-turning two-run blast in the fourth put the Cats ahead of the Rhinos for good.
“I am really thrilled to have finally done it! All the credit should go to my teammates for getting the runs to support me,” an emotional Pan said after the game.
He had been parked on victory No. 108 since tying former Sinon Bulls great Osvaldo Martinez with a win on May 12, and having lost all four of his starts since.
He was congratulated most fittingly on the night by Kao, his catcher for the past nine seasons.
Du Du began the game with two quick outs in the top of the first, before serving up a double and a single to the Rhinos’ Kao Guo-hui and Lin Yi-chuan respectively to fall behind 1-0.
His teammates got the run back in the bottom of the same inning and then gave Du Du a 2-1 lead with their second run of the game in the second on a throwing error by the Rhinos defense. However, the Lions righty fell behind for the second time by serving up a two-run single to Lin Kuen-sheng in the top of the fourth in a 3-2 game.
It was Kao’s two-run blast off Rhinos starter Yang Chien-fu in the bottom of the fourth that put the Cats 4-3 ahead to give Du Du the break he was looking for, as he carefully worked out of trouble with a runner on second in the fifth before tossing a perfect sixth to end the night.
In came a stingy Lions bullpen, which retired the next nine Rhinos hitters to keep the victory intact.
ELEPHANTS 5, MONKEYS 4
Chou Si-chi’s clutch single with a man on second scored the tiebreaking run in the bottom of the eighth for the Brother Elephants as they defeated the Lamigo Monkeys at the Sinjhuang Baseball Stadium in New Taipei City last night.
It was the second straight one-run affair between the clubs, with the Monkeys having had the last laugh the night before in a 2-1 thriller.
Hiroki Sanada was credited with the win for his one inning of perfect relief, while the loss went to the Monkeys’ Hsu Ming-jeh for being charged with the game-winning run for the Elephants.