American League prevails in extras, All-Star Game sets record with 10 homers

American League prevails in extras

WASHINGTON – Breaking down the 2018 MLB All-Star Game from Nationals Park:

American League 8, National League 6, 10 innings

The final:

It seems only fitting the Midsummer Classic would reflect the two major trends in the game today: home runs and strikeouts.

Houston Astros teammates Alex Bregman and George Springer hit back-to-back homers in the top of the 10th inning to propel the American League to an 8-6 win -- its 13 victory in the last 16 All-Star games.

The AL appeared to have things well in hand after Jean Segura broke a 2-2 tie with three-run blast in the seventh.

But Christian Yelich slugged an opposite-field homer in the eighth and Scooter Gennett tied the game with one out in the ninth with a two-run blast off the major leagues’ saves leader, Edwin Diaz.

The NL mounted one final rally in the bottom of the 10 th as Joey Votto hit the last of an All-Star record 10 home runs to cut the margin to two runs. However, J.A. Happ got the final three outs to close out the victory.

The 10 home runs were the most in All-Star history.

Earlier in the game, the AL broke out on top early on homers from Aaron Judge and Mike Trout, but the National League rallied to tie on solo shots from Willson Contreras and Trevor Story.

Meanwhile, the two pitching staffs combined for 25 strikeouts – 12 by AL pitchers and 13 by the NL.

Man of the moment: Segura had only one at-bat, but he made the most of it. When your league is stocked with great shortstops, it isn’t easy to get a lot of recognition. Segura was third on the AL depth chart behind Manny Machado and Francisco Lindor, so he had to wait until the seventh inning to get a plate appearance.

Segura is hitting .323 on the season with seven homers 47 RBI and 66 runs scored. In any other year, that might be good enough to get a starting spot. But not in this league.

Max effort: Max Scherzer, as expected, was pumped to be starting his second consecutive All-Star Game, especially since he was pitching in front of his home crowd.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez, who’s on the NL coaching staff, told reporters before the game he had to remind Scherzer serveral times not to get overly excited. “If he starts throwing 98 (mph), I may start worrying,” Martinez said.

After striking out leadoff hitter Mookie Betts on an 88 mph cutter, Scherzer ramped up his heater and fanned No. 2 batter Jose Altuve on a fastball that hit … yep, 98.

If Scherzer has a weakness, however, it’s been the home run ball. And in an otherwise typically dominant Scherzer start, he made one mistake.

Leading off the second inning, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit an 0-1 Scherzer fastball 399 feet to left to give the AL a 1-0 lead.

Sustained excellence: Mike Trout continues to make the Midsummer Classic his own personal showcase. The two-time All-Star MVP drew a walk his first time up against NL starter Max

Scherzer, then launched a 1-2 pitch from Jacob deGrom over the left-field fence in the third to give the AL a 2-0 lead.

It was Trout’s second All-Star home run and his fifth extra-base hit. Only Ted Williams, with seven, has more.

Manny on the move? With evidence mounting that Manny Machado will be traded before the regular season resumes, the All-Star Game may end up being his final game in an Orioles uniform.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the odds-on favorites to land Machado, and as luck would have it, Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp hit a rocket down the left field line and pulled into second base with a stand-up double.

Who was there to greet him? None other than AL shortstop Manny Machado – which meant it was the perfect time to take a selfie.

Kemp said before the game he is friends with Machado and felt like if Manny knew he was coming to L.A., he would have told him. Perhaps he did just then.

Needing a mulligan: National League first baseman Joey Votto had a chance to end Segura’s at-bat one pitch before his game-winning home run when he dropped a foul ball by the NL dugout.

Votto had a long run as the high foul fly came down on the dugout side of the railing and it hit off the heel of his glove. The former Gold Glover bobbled it for a second and bounced away, just eluding his grasp. Votto was charged with an error on the play.

When he came to the plate in the next inning, the Reds first baseman got a smattering of boos from the crowd.

And even when he settled under a routine pop fly in the top of the ninth, the fans still razzed Votto. Tough crowd.

What you missed on TV: Washington’s traditional Presidents Race, held every game in the middle of the fourth inning, featured the four presidents starting out dancing to music from a make-believe boom box on the right field warning track.

Theodore Roosevelt broke out of the pack and held a huge lead, but in one of the running Nationals Park gags, Teddy was blindsided by a flying rabbit and knocked to the ground. That allowed George Washington to cruise past the carnage and claim an easy victory.

Source: usatoday

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