Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) The Rakuten Monkeys outlasted Wei Chuan Dragons 7-4 in Taoyuan Tuesday for a 2-1 lead in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) finals and remain undefeated at home in the playoffs this year.
There was a moment when the game looked like it was going to go into extra innings for the third straight game for the first time in CPBL history, when the Dragons managed to tie the game 4-4 at the top of the seventh, but the Monkeys responded with a three-run frame in the bottom of the eighth.
The Taiwan Series has not seen three extra-inning games in a row in its 34-year history.
“When it was my turn to bat, I thought I might be subbed because we only needed one hit to stand a chance to win the game, so I’m very thankful the coach believed in me in the end,” catcher Yen Hung- chun (嚴宏鈞), MVP of the game, said after the victory.
Recording no hit in six at-bats in Games 1 and 2, Yen was still hitless when he took to the box in the eighth inning, with Chu Yu-hsien (朱育賢) on second base.
Yen sent the ball to the right field to bring Chu back home before the Monkeys scored two more runs to secure the victory. It was also Yen’s first hit ever in a Taiwan Series.
Monkeys manager Zeng Hao-chu (曾豪駒) said he considered replacing Yen at the time, but chose not to due to Yen’s ability to read the game and his clutch performances in the previous series.
Meanwhile, the Dragons starting pitcher Andrew Miles Gagnon had a below par outing.
Compared to his 3.00 ERA in the regular season this year, the American righty yielded four earned runs in five innings pitched while scattering five hits and two walks plus three wild pitches.
Asked to comment on Gagnon’s performance, Dragons manager Ye Jun-zhang (葉君璋) said he has not taken to the mound regularly for about a month, which made it hard for the pitcher to remain dominant.
Two of Gagnon’s three wild pitches saw Monkeys’ baserunners come back to the home plate.
The Monkeys will host the Dragons again for Game 4 at 6:35 pm on Wednesday.
(By Chao Yen-hsiang)