The 87th MLB All-Star Game has just concluded in San Diego with the AL prevailing for the fourth straight year with a 4-2 victory over the Senior Circuit.
The NL took a 1-0 lead when Cubs slugger Kris Bryant took crosstown rival Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox deep in the top of the 1st. (Despite the fact the game was in a NL park, the AL was the home team).
This lead proved to be short-lived. Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer tied the game with a solo shot off his former teammate Johnny Cueto now with the San Francisco Giants. It was the first time a Royal had gone deep in the All-Star Game since Bo Jackson drove a Rick Reuschel pitch into the centerfield seats in Anaheim in 1989. Indeed, Ronald Reagan was in the booth with Vin Scully when Bo knew baseball.
The Royals didn’t have to wait 27 years for another home run. Five minutes later, Salvador Perez gave the AL a 3-1 lead with a two run shot off Cueto. Hosmer would drive in his second run of the game with a single off Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez in the 3rd.
The NL scored a run in the 4th on a single by Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna. But that was as close as they got. The NL did have the bases loaded in the 8th against Yankees reliever Andrew Miller. But Astros reliever Will Harris caught St. Louis Cardinals rookie Aldemys Diaz looking to end the threat. The game would end with Orioles closer Zach Britton inducing Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado to hit into a double play. The NL left ten runners on base. Pete Rose said, “Terry Collins was trying to get everyone into the game, Ned Yost was trying to win it.”
Not surprisingly, Hosmer won the All-Star Game MVP. The AL will get home field advantage for the World Series. Since 2003, the league that has won home field advantage at the All-Star Game has won 9 of 13 World Series.
It was Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz’s 10th and final All-Star appearance. He lined out to Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo in the first and walked in the third when he exited for pinch runner Edwin Encarnacion. He was warmly embraced by his all AL teammates and was given a standing ovation by his NL opponents and the fans.
Prior to the game, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the AL and NL batting titles would be named after Rod Carew and San Diego’s favorite son, the late Tony Gwynn. Carew was in attendance at the game and looks remarkably good after suffering a massive heart attack last September.
The 2017 MLB All-Star Game will take place in Miami. In the meantime, the regular season resumes on Friday.
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