Lions put Elephants on an eight-game stretch of losses

By Paul Huang  /  Contributing reporter

Sun, May 25, 2014 - Page 20

Back-to-back extra-base hits by Liu Fu-hao and Pan “TAKE” Wu-hsiung in the bottom of the eighth scored a pair of runs for the Uni-President Lions as they rallied from a run down with a two-run eighth to top the Chinatrust Brother Elephants 3-2 at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium last night.

It was the second one-run win for the Lions this week, as the Cats also rallied for two runs late in the game to turn back the top-ranked Lamigo Monkeys in Tainan on Tuesday by the same score.

Trailing 1-2 in the bottom of the eighth, Lin Chih-shiang singled off Elephants reliever Guan Da-yuan with one out to put himself in a scoring position for Liu’s game-tying RBI triple.

That set up TAKE’s sharp double to left that drove in the go-ahead run, which the Lions promptly preserved with closer Kuo Hung-chih retiring the side in order in the top of the ninth for his league-leading 14th save of the year.

With the pressure to win mounting following their 1-0 shutout loss to the EDA Rhinos on Thursday that set a new team-high losing streak of seven, the Elephants opened the contest with a quick run off Lions starter Liao Wen-yang in the opening frame when Chang Cheng-we led off the game with a single and took second on an errant throw before reaching home on a sacrifice fly by Huang Shih-hao.

Chinatrust doubled their lead in the third with newcomer Jim Negrych’s first home run of the season, a solo shot off Liao that made it 2-0.

The two-run lead for the Elephants lasted through the fifth, before the Lions finally scored in the sixth when Liu went deep against Elephants starter Cheng Kai-wen with his fourth homer of the season.

That cut the Elephants lead in half, setting the stage for the Lions’ game-turning rally in the eighth.

Pocketing the win was Liao, who allowed two runs (only one earned) on five hits over eight innings to beat Cheng, who went seven strong innings in a five-hit outing before handing the game to Guan in the fateful eighth.

The win not only brought the second-place Cats to within three games of the league-leading Monkeys, who lost in their game against the EDA Rhinos in greater Kaohsiung on the same night, but also handed the free-falling Elephants their eighth straight defeat as their losing skid reached a season-high eight.

Monkeys 3, Rhinos 7

The EDA Rhinos took advantage of a six-run sixth to cool off the top-ranked Lamigo Monkeys at the Cheng Ching Lake Baseball Stadium in Greater Kaohsiung last night to tie the Primates in their weekend series at one win apiece.