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Lamigo Monkeys blow out China Stars to open Asia Series baseball

All Headlines 15:17 November 08, 2012

By Yoo Jee-ho

BUSAN, Nov. 8 (Yonhap) -- The Lamigo Monkeys of Taiwan blew out the China Stars 14-1 in the opening game of the Asia Series baseball tournament here Thursday.

At Sajik Stadium here in the southeastern metropolitan city, the Monkeys launched three home runs among their 15 hits, as the lopsided game ended in seven innings.

Under the tournament's "mercy rule," a game is called after seven innings if one team is ahead by at least 10 runs.

South Korea is hosting the Asia Series for the first time. It has brought together league champions and All-Stars from South Korea, Australia, Japan, Taiwan and China, with 500 million won (US$460,500) in prize money for the winner up for grabs.

The Monkeys are the reigning Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) champs, and the Stars are an All-Star team from the China Baseball League.

The other teams are the Samsung Lions, champions of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), and the Lotte Giants, the Busan-based KBO club; the Yomiuri Giants, who won the 2012 Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) title; and the Perth Heat, the reigning Australian Baseball League (ABL) champions.

These teams have been paired into two groups for the round-robin stage. The Lions, the Stars and the Monkeys are in Group A. The Lotte Giants, the Yomiuri Giants and the Heat are paired in Group B.

They will play intra-group games from Thursday to Saturday, and the top teams from the groups will meet in the final at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Lotte and Perth are to collide at 6 p.m. Thursday for the day's second game.

In the opening contest, the Monkeys built a 10-0 lead after four innings thanks to eight extra base hits, including a two-run homer by Lin Chih-sheng and a three-run shot by Chen Chin-feng.

The Stars got one back in the bottom fourth with a triple by Du Xiaolei. Then in the sixth, the Monkeys brought the mercy rule back into play by tagging on four more runs, as Shin Chih-Wei hit a three-run bomb to left.

With plenty of run support, Lamigo's starter Tseng Chao-hao held the Stars to six hits and a run over seven innings.

Lin Chih-sheng went 2-for-2 with two RBIs, four runs scored and three walks. Chen Chin-feng drove in five runs on three hits.

The Lions won the Asia Series last year and will try to become the first repeat champions this week.

The Asia Series began in 2005, pitting champions from South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, and either an All-Star team or the league champion from China against each other. Konami, a Japanese game company, sponsored the tournament from 2005 to 2008, but pulled out after 2008, citing declining interest in the event.

In 2009, the KBO and the NPB held a single club championship match in Japan and the KBO, NPB and CPBL champions met in Taiwan the following year. These events were not called the Asia Series.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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