The struggling EDA Rhinos bounced back from back-to-back blowout losses to the Uni-President Lions with a 5-2 triumph in the weekend’s finale at the Cheng Ching Lake Baseball Stadium in Kaohsiung last night to avoid being swept by the Cats at home.
The win also nipped a five-game slide for the Rhinos, who properly celebrated slugger Kao Kuo-hui’s record-extending 35th homer of the season one day after he had broken the eight-year-old mark for the most homers in a season (33) set by the Lions’ Tilson Brito in 2007.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling and tremendous honor to be able surpass a great player like [Tilson Brito],” Kao said after the game.
Photo: Chang Chung-i, Taipei Times
The 30-year-old soft-spoken slugger has his eyes on the 40-homer plateau with 11 games remaining in the regular season.
Hu Chin-lung’s two-run double capped a three-run second inning for the Rhinos, who greeted Lions starter Wang Ching-ming with three extra-base hits (all doubles) in the inning to set the tone early in the game.
The Rhinos tacked on another run in the third on the strength of Kao’s solo blast off Wang that made it 4-0, before plating their fifth on a sacrifice fly by Kao in the bottom of the seventh.
Rhinos starter Andy Sisco pitched perfect ball through three and took a one-hit shutout two outs into the eighth, before giving up a two-run home run to the Lions’ Chu Yuan-hsun to lose the shutout bid.
The American lefty earned his fifth victory of the season along with the Most Valuable Player honor for his gutsy effort.
Taking the loss was Wang, who allowed five runs (four earned) on nine hits over six frames, while fanning seven and walking none in a contest that would have been closer if it were not for Sisco’s spectacular effort.
MONKEYS 11, BROTHERS 6
Homers by Lin Chih-sheng and Kuo Yen-wen sparked an eight-run scoring spree from the third inning through the fifth for the Lamigo Monkeys as they took a sizeable lead and held off a late-game rally by the top-ranked Chinatrust Brothers to escape with an 11-6 win at a rain-drenched Sinjhuang Baseball Stadium in New Taipei City last night.
The victory gave the Primates a clean sweep in the three-game series that saw them humble the Brothers’ pitchers by plating nearly 10 runs per game to pull within 3.5 games of the league leaders.
Pat Misch made the most of his seventh start with the Monkeys by tossing one-run ball on two hits over six innings to pick up win No. 5.
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