Scoring early and often, the Lamigo Monkeys roughed up the Uni-President Lions in a 7-0 shutout at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium last night to sweep the three-game home stand over the weekend.
Wang Yi-cheng continued his dominance on the mound with another fine effort on the night, going the distance for the hosts in a four-hit gem with no walks to help the defending champions ascend into a three-way tie with the Brother Elephants and the EDA Rhinos atop the standings.
Other than a fifth-inning double by the Lions’ Kao Guo-ching, the lefty who spent four seasons with the Yokohama BayStars before returning to Taiwan this year did not allow another Lions runner in scoring position.
“It’s great to be able to help our team win again,” Wang said in an interview after being named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
His continued success will give the Monkeys’ rotation a much needed boost as they look to make a serious run for the second-half title down the home stretch.
Back-to-back base hits by the Primates off Lions starter Wang Ching-ming to start the bottom of the first led to a pair of early runs for the hosts, before they added to the lead by a run with an RBI single by Kuo Sho-yen in the third.
The Monkeys increased their lead by two in the fifth and the eighth innings to blow the game wide open, dealing the feeble Cats their third straight defeat, dropping them 2.5 games back in the standings.
Taking the loss for the Lions was Wang Ching-ming, who allowed five runs (three earned) on nine hits in five innings of work for a 6-2 record this season.
RHINOS 8, ELEPHANTS 1
The EDA Rhinos also claimed their weekend series in northern Taiwan against the Brother Elephants with an 8-1 triumph at the Taipei Municipal Baseball Stadium in Tianmu last night.
Newcomer Matt Torra improved to 4-1 for the season with seven gutsy innings of one-run ball on four hits to lead the first-half champions past the Elephants.
The mid-season addition to the Rhinos rotation has paid great dividends for skipper Hsu Sheng-ming, with four quality starts in five chances to provide some added stability to the Rhinos’ pitching.