TOKYO – The Samurai Japan National Team defeated Chinese Taipei, 8-2, in Game 3 of the WBSC-sanctioned Asia Professional Baseball Championship 2017 before 35,473 at the Tokyo Dome Saturday night.

Samurai starting pitcher Shota Imanaga (Yokohama DeNA Baystars – NPB) racked up 12 strikeouts over six shutout innings, while allowing only three hits, to earn the victory.

Saitama Seibu Lions outfielder Shuta Tonosaki got Japan on the scoreboard in the 2nd inning, when he blasted a solo home run off Chinese Taipei starter Cheng-Hsien Lin (Fubon Guardians – CPBL). Tonosaki also had an RBI single in the top of the 9th that padded Japan’s lead, at 8-0.

Yota Kyoda (Chunichi Dragons – NPB) had 3 RBIs for Japan, while Go Matsumoto (Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters – NPB) had 2 RBIs off a double in the 7th.

Lamigo Monkeys Yu-Hsien Chu blasted a solo home run in the bottom of the 9th inning that scored Chinese Taipei’s first run of the tournament. Chinese Taipei then loaded the bases, but Japan turned a double-play to end the game.

The win secures world No. 1 Japan a place and “home team” in Sunday’s championship final versus No. 3 Korea.

Chinese Taipei, 0-2, have been eliminated from the inaugural battle between Asia’s top nations/professional leagues.