Rallying from four down early in the game with a steady stream of attack, the Lamigo Monkeys scored seven of the game’s final nine runs to edge past the Chinatrust Brothers 7-6 in Game 2 of the Taiwan Series at the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium last night to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-the-seven affair.
The near-sellout crowd of more than 17,000 watched the home Primates fall behind 0-4 in an inauspicious start after a wild throw by starter Wang Yi-cheng on a sacrifice bunt attempt by the Brothers resulted in three unearned runs in the top of the second for the men in the golden uniforms.
However, instead of folding up their tents and packing up their bags, the hosts chipped away at the deficit with a run each in the second and third off Brothers starter Cheng Kai-wen before leveling the scores with two in the fourth on the back of Chan Chih-yao’s sacrifice fly and Lin Chih-ping’s two-out, game-tying double.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
The score was 4-4 after four innings of play.
The two-run fourth not only knocked out Cheng, but also swung the momentum the Monkeys’ way as they loaded up the bases with one out in the fifth inning to set up Yu The-lung’s two-run single that put them ahead 6-4.
Yu went on to earn the game-MVP honor by delivering what ended up being the game-winning hit.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
“I just did what manager Hung told our players to do: Play without holding anything back,” Yu said after the game.
He also drew a pair of walks in the game to set up another Monkeys run, playing a huge role in his team’s victory.
Trailing by two, the Brothers were able to get a run back off Wang in the sixth.
Huang Shih-hao led off the inning with a single. Huang scored three batters later on Lin Wei-chu’s two-out single that made it a 6-5 game.
The Monkeys tacked on an insurance run in the eighth when Lin “Chubby Kid” Hung-yu knocked in a runner from second with a two-out double off Brothers reliever Ramon Pena.
Chinatrust had a chance to tie the game in the top of the ninth with a runner on first and Chang Chih-hao singling to advance him to third with one out.
However, an alert Monkeys defense was able to gun down Chang between first and second after he was caught overrunning first base for the second out of the inning.
Even though the runner on third scored, the base-running mistake also cost them an out and consequently the game.
“They say base-running mistakes can sometimes decide a game, and I guess we just proved that,” a disappointed Brothers skipper Hsieh Chang-hen said after the game.
The two teams have today off as the series moves north to New Taipei City’s Sinjhuang Baseball Stadium, where the Brothers are to host Game 3 tomorrow evening with the opening pitch scheduled for 6:30pm.
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