In Round 1 battle of the Asian teams at the World Baseball Challenge, the guys from Chinese Taipei left no doubt who deserves bragging rights.
They hammered JX-Eneos of Japan 7-1 for their win in four games at the five-team tournament Saturday afternoon at Citizen Field.
Leading 5-1 in the eighth inning, Chinese Taipei batters teed off on Japanese reliever Akhiro Kitahara, who issued consecutive home runs to Wang Po Jung and Luo Guo Long.
Chinese Taipei jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, scoring on a sacrifice fly and a double by Long, after starter Tomoya Mikami got himself into a bases-loaded situation.
Japan's only run came in the third off a sacrifice fly .
Chi Hung Hsu also homered for Chinese Taipei in the seventh inning.
Starter Jhih Long Yang earned the victory, allowing five hits through seven innings, with three walks and three strikeouts. Mikami took the loss, giving up seven hits and five runs through 6 2/3 innings.
Aside from a 10-2 loss to Cuba on Thursday, Chinese Taipei hasn't had much to complain about, beating the United States 9-7 and Canada 8-2.
They face Team USA again Sunday at 3 p.m., followed by the Cuba vs. Canada game at 7.
In the late game Saturday, tournament-leading Cuba (3-0) takes on the U.S. (1-2) at 7 p.m.
Chinese Taipei starters have lasted at least six innings in three of their four games and that makes life a lot easier for manager Ming Tsu Lu. They've been getting plenty of help from the bats of Long (.467 average, two home runs) and cleanup hitter Huang Chin Wei .545 average, one home run).