Taiwan tops Australia in World Baseball Classic opener

Taiwan's starter Wang Chien-ming delivers a pitch against

Taiwan's starter Wang Chien-ming delivers a pitch against Australia in the first inning of their World Baseball Classic first-round game at the Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan. (March 2, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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Chien-Ming Wang threw six shutout innings to lead Taiwan past Australia 4-1 in Saturday's opening game of the World Baseball Classic.

Scattering four hits, Wang, a former New York Yankees star, was helped by a solid infield that turned three double plays to halt Australian scoring threats in the Group B contest.

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Cheng-Min Peng homered and Chih-Sheng Lin doubled in a run to pace the home team. Stefan Welch hit a solo homer in the 7th inning to account for Australia's sole run.

South Korea is seen as the strong favorite in the four-team group, with Taiwan and the Netherlands competing for the second spot, and the right to advance to the next round in Tokyo.

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