Ken Ray tossed 8-2/3 innings of one-run ball, Chung Cheng-yo and Chen Yen-fong drove a run each and the Lamigo Monkeys went on to defeat the Sinon Bulls in a 2-1 final at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium last night.
The victory not only improved Ray’ season mark to a team-best 3-0, but also upped the Monkeys’ league-leading record to 13-6 to maintain a one-game lead over the second-place Uni--President Lions.
The rain-filled match between the two clubs saw neither starter allow a run through the first five frames, with Ray retiring the side in order in three different innings in a two-hit gem, while the Bulls’ Lin Ying-jeh held his ground and gave up only four hits.
That changed in the sixth as the home Monkeys led off the bottom of the sixth with Kuo Hso-wei’s single and scored three batters later on Chung’s opposite-field single to right to take a 1-0 lead.
After a scoreless seventh, the Monkeys tacked on an insurance run in the eighth when Chen beat out a bases-loaded grounder for an infield single that scored the runner on third, making it 2-0.
That was the difference in the game as the Bulls rallied for a run in the ninth on the strength of Hsu Guo-long’s two-out single off Monkey closer Hsu Ming-jeh, but failed to score the tying run from third when Lin Cuen-sheng popped out to center to end the game.
Hsu Ming-jeh was credited with his seventh save in as many games for getting the final out to preserve the win for Ray, while Lin was tagged with his fourth loss of the year despite pitching eight innings of two-run ball (only one run earned) in an eight-hit effort.
Failure to come up with a hit with runners in scoring position proved costly for the Bulls as they batted a collective 1 for 5 with men in scoring position, leaving too much on the table to garner a very winnable game.
LIONS 1, ELEPHANTS 0
Liu Fu-hao’s walk-off single to shallow-center with a runner on second broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the 11th as the Uni--President Lions edged past the Brother Elephants 1-0 at the Kaohsiung County Baseball Stadium last night to even the series with the Elephants at one win apiece.
It was Liu’s first career walk-off hit, adding to the veteran outfielder’s long list of accomplishments over a seven-year span and counting.
Chang “OEO” Tai-shan had the chance to play the hero of the game as he came to the plate with runners at the corners and two outs in the bottom of the ninth against Elephant starter Orlando Roman.
However, the holder of the new league record for most career games (1,424) hit the ball off the head of his bat, which resulted in an inning-ending flyout, setting the table for Liu’s extra-inning heroics.
Picking up the win with 1-1/3 innings of hitless relief was Hsu Yu-wei, who entered in the top of the 10th to take over for an injured Lin Yueh-ping and retired all four of the batters he faced to beat his counterpart Lee Fong-hua, who pitched a perfect 10th, before surrendering the game-winner in the 11th.
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