The Lamigo Monkeys took two out of three in the weekend series, finishing up by thrashing the Uni-President Lions 8-2 in yesterday’s Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) contest at Taoyuan International Stadium.
It was a vital win to open up a two-game gap between the two front-runners in the race for the first-half season title, as the Lions had been in hot pursuit over the past few weeks.
The core of the Lamigo lineup — designated hitter Liao Chien-fu as third at bat and first baseman Chen Chun-hsiu as the cleanup batter — accounted for virtually all of the team’s runs in yesterday’s game.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
Liao had three hits and three RBIs, while Chen went 5-for-5 to drive in four RBIs, including a home run. The two drove in seven of Lamigo’s eight runs.
Lamigo’s American starter Zeke Spruill pocketed his second win of the season, improving his ERA to 2.77.
Through seven innings, Spruill gave up only one run on eight hits, allowed three walks and threw six strikeouts.
In a Taoyuan homestand on Friday, the Lions seized a 5-2 victory, then the Lamigo Monkeys came back in a tight affair on Saturday to prevail 10-9.
After the weekend results, the Lamigo Monkeys are still in front with the league’s best record of 32 wins and 18 losses, while the Lions are two games behind with 30 wins and 20 losses.
The other two teams, the Fubon Guardians and the Brothers Baseball Club are far back in the standings at 10 games and 16 games off the pace respectively. They are out of contention for the first-half season title, which is to be decided at the end of this month.
After completing makeup games from earlier postponements, all four teams are to take a mid-term break to compete in the CPBL All-Star weekend at Taipei Tianmu Stadium on July 7 and 8.
In the other game yesterday, the Brothers salvaged the weekend series with a 3-1 win over the hosting Fubon Guardians at Sinjhuang Stadium in New Taipei City.
Fubon had grabbed two earlier wins in the series and triumphed on Friday 8-3 before doubling up on the Brothers 4-2 on Saturday.
It was American starter Mitch Lively who carried the Brothers in yesterday’s encounter.
Lively scattered seven hits, struck out seven against the Guardians lineup and only yielded one run going into the seventh inning.
Two relievers came in to preserve the victory, as Lively improved his record to 3-3 and received the Most Valuable Player award.
The Brothers sparingly used pitcher Chen Po-hao, who recorded his first save of the season when he came in the final two frames as the relief.
Outfielder Chen Tzu-hao had a big day for the Brothers, collecting two RBIs on three hits, including a solo homer.
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