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Israel to be tested by Chinese Taipei

Cardinals' Baker looks to lead Israelis to 2-0 Classic start
MLB.com

Now with a game and a win under its belt at the World Baseball Classic, Team Israel rolls into its second game of the tournament against Chinese Taipei on Monday night (Tuesday in Seoul), looking to put itself in prime position to advance to the next round. Each team plays three games in the round robin opening round, with the top two teams advancing.

Israel won the opening game of the Classic, 2-1, in 10 innings against Pool A host Korea on Monday, while Chinese Taipei has yet to play a game. Chinese Taipei will be the home team for the 10 p.m. ET contest (noon Tuesday local time) at the Gocheok Sky Dome.

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Now with a game and a win under its belt at the World Baseball Classic, Team Israel rolls into its second game of the tournament against Chinese Taipei on Monday night (Tuesday in Seoul), looking to put itself in prime position to advance to the next round. Each team plays three games in the round robin opening round, with the top two teams advancing.

Israel won the opening game of the Classic, 2-1, in 10 innings against Pool A host Korea on Monday, while Chinese Taipei has yet to play a game. Chinese Taipei will be the home team for the 10 p.m. ET contest (noon Tuesday local time) at the Gocheok Sky Dome.

View Full Game Coverage

WBC 2017: Tickets | Rosters | Rules | Full coverage

:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::

After getting a strong effort from 15-year Major League veteran Jason Marquis in their win over Korea -- Israel's Classic debut -- the Israelis will turn to right-hander Corey Baker to start Game 2. The 27-year-old, who is in the Cardinals' organization, went 5-11 with a 5.68 ERA in 29 games at Double-A and Triple-A last season, with 110 strikeouts in 130 innings.

Chinese Taipei enters its first game of the 2017 Classic hoping to build on its surprise success in the previous tournament. Chinese Taipei won Pool B in the 2013 Classic, the first time in its three appearances that it advanced out of the first round. The team was even an inning away from beating two-time defending champion Japan in the second round, leading 3-2 in the ninth, before ultimately falling in extra innings.

In its 2017 Classic opener, Chinese Taipei will send right-hander Chun-Lin Kuo to the mound. The 25-year-old, who pitches in Japan for Nippon Professional Baseball's Saitama Seibu Lions, will be making his Classic debut. In 2016, Kuo went 0-3 with an 8.46 ERA in 12 games, three of them starts, with 20 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings.

Things to know about this game

• Baker will be following Marquis in Israel's rotation, just as he did in the qualifiers for the tournament. Baker started Israel's second qualifying-round game in Brooklyn in September and pitched five scoreless innings, allowing one hit, to get the win.

• The Chinese Taipei squad includes many stars of the Chinese Professional Baseball League, especially on the offensive side. Outfielder Kuo-Hui Kao of the Fubon Guardians and infielder Chih-Sheng Lin of the Chinatrust Brothers tied for the CPBL home run crown last season, with 34 apiece. Infielder Chih-Hsien Chiang hit .402 with 30 homers for Chinatrust.

Chin-Lung Hu of the Guardians is returning to Chinese Taipei's team for his first Classic since the inaugural 2006 tournament. Hu, who played parts of five MLB seasons with the Dodgers and Mets, has the most Major League hits (34) home runs (two) of any Taiwan-born player.

Watch the Classic

The World Baseball Classic runs through March 22. In the U.S., games will air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN will provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. will have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament will be distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Israel, Chinese Taipei