The Lamigo Monkeys of Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League roughed up the Chinese Baseball League All-Stars in a 14-1 final over seven innings yesterday to win the opener in this year’s Asia Series at the Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, South Korea.
Chen Chin-fong batted an astounding three-for-four with a home run on a five-RBI afternoon to lead an attack that teed off against five different Chinese hurlers with 15 hits. Nine went for extra bases.
The former Major Leaguer and cleanup man for the Primates proved his worth once again, despite talk of the possibility of retirement in a year or two, by saving his best efforts for Taiwan at the international competition.
Also starring were fellow sluggers Lin Chih-sheng and Shih Chih-wei, who went deep against the Chinese with a blast apiece for five combined RBIs in a contest completely dominated by the Monkeys.
Taking the mound for Taiwan was veteran righty Tseng Jau-hao, who showed some early-game jitters by allowing a runner to reach third in two of the first three innings, but managed to pitch out of trouble on both occasions to hold the Chinese scoreless through the third.
Even though the Chinese All-Stars would finally get a run off Tseng in the fourth on the strength of a single and a triple to cost the righty the shutout bid, the outcome of the game was never in doubt as the Taiwanese had already plated 10 runs by the top of the fourth to spot him an insurmountable lead. He was credited with the win for going the distance for skipper Hong Yi-chung, allowing a run on six hits, while fanning four and walking none.
Taking the loss was Chinese starter Luo Hsia, who served up five runs on six hits over just two innings of play.
Next up for the Monkeys at 6pm today are the Samsung Lions of South Korea’s Korean Baseball Organization, who won the title in Taiwan last year by edging the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball in a 5-3 final.
‧ Lotte Giants 6, Perth Heat 1