Matt Torra tossed eight strong innings of two-run ball, Lan Hsao-bai drove in a pair of runs on a 1-for-3 night, and the EDA Rhinos edged the Brother Elephants 3-2 at the Taipei Municipal Baseball Stadium in Tianmu last night to split the day-night doubleheader.
It was the second straight victory that the US righty has picked up and fifth overall since joining the Rhinos in the middle of last month, improving his season mark to 5-1 keeping his team’s chances for the second-half title alive.
The Elephants drew first blood with a run on three hits off Torra in the top of the first, but quickly lost the advantage when the Rhinos answered with two runs of their own off Elephant starter Chen Hung-wen in the bottom of the same inning to lead it 2-1.
The Rhinos boosted their cushion to 3-1 in the third when Hu Chin-lung led off the inning on a double and scored three batters later on an error by the Elephant defense.
Neither team managed to score again over the next three innings, with Torra and Chen holding their ground until the Elephants broke through in the top of the seventh with their second run of the contest on the strength of three singles off Torra.
That was as close as the Elephants got as Torra bounced back with a perfect eighth before closer Juan Morillo retired the side to preserve the narrow victory.
ELEPHANTS 5, RHINOS 1
In the day game of the doubleheader, the Elephants offense put up five runs over the first three frames and never looked back as they roughed up the Rhinos to make a winner out of reliever Luo Guo-hua.
Taking the loss was Rhinos’ staff ace Lin Chen-hua, who allowed all five runs (three earned) on nine hits to drop to a 12-6 record for the year.
LIONS 5, MONKEYS 2
The Uni-President Lions took advantage of two costly errors by the Lamigo Monkeys defense to plate four runs in the bottom of the seventh, turning a 1-2 deficit into a 5-2 lead as they held on to win the night game at the Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium to sweep their day-night doubleheader.
Nelson Figueroa struck out a season-high nine over seven solid innings to lead the home Cats to a much-need win after they had dropped four straight prior to fall to the bottom of the standings earlier in the week.
The win negated a strong outing by Monkeys starter Brian Burres, who kept the Lions offense to four hits over six innings with nine strikeouts with both of his allowed runs being unearned.