Sun, Mar 10, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Cuba demolish Taiwan

LOPSIDED CONTEST:Team Taiwan seemed drained after Friday night’s heroics against Japan, and Cuba were so dominant that the mercy rule had to be instituted

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Taiwan’s Kao Chih-kang, left, hits a single against Cuba during the second inning of their second-round Pool 1 game in the World Baseball Classic tournament yesterday at the Tokyo Dome in Japan.

Photo: AFP

Taiwan dropped their second game in Pool 1 of the second round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic with a 14-0 loss to Cuba at the Tokyo Dome in Japan last night to close out their run for the title with a 0-2 record.

Taiwan proved ineffective against the Red Lightning of the Caribbean, as the Cuban hitters teed off against the Taiwanese pitching by erupting for 14 runs on a dozen hits off five different Taiwanese hurlers. The game was so lopsided that the mercy rule was instituted to end the contest after the first half of the seventh inning, with Cuba batting in the bottom half of the inning.

The defeat came less than 22 hours after Taiwan had gone 10 innings against hosts from in a disheartening 4-3 loss that lasted nearly five hours. Even though that should not be an excuse for last night’s defeat, it was clear that the Taiwanese players did not have their game faces on from the get go.

With the bullpen hugely depleted after Friday night’s game against Japan, skipper Hsieh was forced to send Lo Ching-lung (羅錦龍) to the mound. He lasted less than three innings with a pair of allowed runs in the opening frame, courtesy of a two-run home run by Frederich Cepeda.

Lo regrouped with a scoreless second and pitched two outs into the third before being pulled. However, his successor, Yang Yao-hsun (陽耀勳), only managed to cool off the Cuban bats for less than an inning. The lefty from Taitung City issued a leadoff walk in the fourth after bailing out Lo in the third with an inning-ending groundout. He then committed a throwing error to first on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Cuba’s Jose Abreu to set up a four-run fourth that included a three-run blast to Yasmany Tomas.

Trouble continued at the plate for the Taiwanese hitters against Cuban starter Danny Betancourt, who scattered three singles over the first two innings and improved as he went on by tossing one-hit ball from the third through the sixth to deny Taiwan any chance of a comeback, ending the contest in a brutal landslide.

Betacourt was credited with the win for his total dominance over the Taiwanese hitters in a four-hit gem, while the loss was charged against his counterpart Lo, who allowed two runs on as many hits over 2-2/3 innings of play.

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