Wowing the 16,000-plus fans in the stands with a pair of home runs, the MLB All-Stars outfought a resilient Taiwan national squad to run away with a 6-4 win in Game 5 of the 2011 Taiwan All-Star Series at Chengcing Lake Baseball Stadium in Greater Kaohsiung yesterday afternoon, sweeping the friendly exhibition series in grand fashion.
Robinson Cano (New York Yankees) showed off his expertise in the long-ball category with a solo shot off Taiwan reliever Yang Yao-hsun (陽耀勳) in the top of the third that put the visitors ahead 4-3. Ty Wigginton (Colorado Rockies) followed with a pinch-hit blast off Taiwan’s Lin Yu-ching (林煜清) to lead off the seventh that provided an insurance run for the Big Leaguers.
The highly anticipated showdown between Jeremy Guthrie (Baltimore Orioles) and Taiwan’s very own Major Leaguer, Wang Chien-ming (王建民), of the Washington Nationals did not live up to its hype, as both starters failed to shut down the opposing hitters by serving up three runs apiece through the first two innings of play.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
After surviving a shaky first that saw him give up a walk and a single without surrendering any runs, Wang found himself in trouble in a three-run second by giving up two doubles and a single even though two of the three runs were unearned.
However, Guthrie returned the favor by allowing a two-run double to Taiwan’s Pan Chih-fang (潘志芳) before an RBI groundout by Lin Che-hsuan (林哲瑄) tied the game at 3-all in the bottom of the second.
That set up Cano’s homer, which gave the All-Stars a 4-3 lead that they added to with a run in the fifth inning when Logan Morrison’s (Florida Marlins) double off reliever Cheng Wen-hao (鄭文豪) drove in Ryan Roberts (Arizona Diamonbacks) all the way from first to make it 5-3.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
Even though Taiwan’s hitters plated a run in the bottom of that frame against reliever LaTroy Hawkins (Milwaukee Brewers) to again reduce the deficit to one run, that was as close as they managed against the stingy bullpen work of Rich Thompson (Los Angeles Angels), Jose Veras (Pittsburgh Pirates) and Mark Melancon (Houston Astros), who combined for four shutout innings of two-hit relief to deny Taiwan any chance for a rally.
Thompson earned his second win of the series with two innings of shutout ball. He allowed a hit, while fanning four and walking one to beat counterpart Yang, who gave the Major Leaguers the lead for good on the homer to Cano.
“It’s been a very positive influence for baseball in Taiwan,” Major League skipper Bruce Bochy (San Francisco Giants) said after the game.
His troops came in and showed why the Major League is still the premier stage where only the elite can compete and thrive in the game of baseball.
AIMED AT TAIWAN? Institute for National Defense and Security Research research fellow Ou Si-fu said chips can be ‘bought off the shelf’ and then used in weapons The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday said that chips from Taiwanese semiconductor companies were not making their way into Chinese missiles “to the best of our knowledge.” A report in yesterday’s Washington Post alleged that a Chinese company named Phytium Technology Co (飛騰) used chips made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), along with US software, in advanced Chinese military systems. “TSMC has long placed strict controls on their chips. The export of high-tech products from Taiwan is also highly regulated,” Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said. “According to our understanding, none of the end uses for those products
‘IMPORTANT PARTNER’: The new guidelines aim to encourage US engagement with Taiwan, which reflects a deepening relationship, the US Department of State said The US Department of State on Friday issued new guidelines governing US officials’ interactions with their Taiwanese counterparts, a move welcomed by Taipei as turning a new page in bilateral relations. Shortly before leaving office, then-US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Jan. 9 announced the cancelation of previous contact guidelines, which he said were “self-imposed restrictions” that attempted to appease the Chinese Communist Party regime in Beijing. However, the status of the guidelines has been unclear since US President Joe Biden entered the White House. Asked about the issue during a legislative session on Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu
Those needing to travel abroad should be able to buy a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this month at the earliest, pending an official announcement next week, Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said yesterday. An expected 5,000 to 10,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are to be set aside for purchase by those with a specified need to travel, said Chuang, who is also the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) spokesman. Whether doses would be limited to business travelers or could include leisure travelers needs further discussion, he said, adding that a vaccination timeline is to be
‘IDEAL FIT’: A report on Sunday said that the Canadian government threatened to pull its support and funding from the HFX if the award was given to the president The government would respect the decision of the organizer of the John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service on whether it plans to award a prize to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday. The statement was issued after US Web site Politico reported a day earlier that the Canadian government had warned the Halifax International Security Forum (HFX) not to give the award to Tsai for fear of provoking Beijing. “The ministry believes that if the Halifax International Security Forum confers the prize upon President Tsai, it would be an affirmation and honor for both