Liao Yu-cheng pitched six innings of one-run ball in his fifth straight quality start to pace the Brother Elephants past the Chinatrust Whales 2-1 at the Ilan County Baseball Stadium in Luodong on Friday night.
The fourth-year right-hander out of National Taiwan Sports University, who is known for his underhand submarine delivery, proved himself to be a legitimate staff ace by baffling the Whales hitters in a four-hit outing to earn his team-high sixth victory of the season.
The win not only helped the Elephants bounce back from a disheartening one-run loss to the President Lions earlier this week, but also guaranteed them at least a third-place finish in the standings for the first half as they fight for the third and final playoffs spot.
PHOTO: WANG YI-SUNG, TAIPEI TIMES
Peng “Chia Chia” Cheng-min’s bases-loaded single scored two quick runs off Whales starter Steve Watkins in the top of the first for the Elephants, which ended up being the difference in the game as neither offense managed to produce much from that point on against the solid pitching on both sides.
Trailing 0-2, Chinatrust finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth with an unearned run off Liao when Wilton Veras lined an opposite-field single to right to score the runner from third.
That was as close as the Whales got as Liao cruised through the sixth without any trouble before the Elephants bullpen took over and combined for three shutout innings of one-hit relief to keep the victory intact for Liao.
Picking up the tough loss on behalf of the Whales was Watkins, who pitched himself into an early jam in a three-hit first but quickly settled down to two-hit the Elephants over the next seven innings in a solid performance for his seventh defeat of the year.
Lions 9, Bulls 5
Homers by Chen Lien-hong and Kuo Dai-chi led to a seven-run fourth as the President Lions overpowered the Sinon Bulls in a 9-5 final at the Hsinchu Municipal Baseball Stadium on Friday evening to win their third in a row.
Louis Pote found his way back to the win column after succumbing to the dmedia T-Rex a week ago in his first loss of the season with seven strong innings of play to improve to an 8-1 mark.
Chen’s seventh homer of the season, a two-run shot off Bulls starter Shen Fu-ren, sparked what ended up being a seven-run outpour in the top of the fourth and the Lions never looked back.
Even though the Bulls scored a pair of runs in the seventh to cut the Lions lead to 7-2 and eventually struck for three more in the final inning to make the final score somewhat respectable, the outcome of the game was never in doubt. The Lions showed why they were the defending champs with a potent offense that tallied up a dozen hits with four players enjoying multi-hit games.
The two teams will meet again to close out the two-game set in Taichung with the Bulls desperately needing to snap a five-game losing skid.
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