The Latest: Guerrero faces Alonso for Home Run Derby title
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Latest on the All-Star Game (all times local):
Toronto rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will face New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso for the All-Star Home Run Derby title.
Guerrero beat the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson 40-39 in the semifinals after they extended to a third tiebreaker. They tied 29-29 in the initial 4-minute round and 8-8 during 60 extra seconds. They each hit one during a three-swing tiebreaker, and Guerrero hit two in a second three-swing tiebreaker, finally winning when Pederson grounded out on his third swing. Guerrero also hit the longest of the night at 488 feet.
Alonso, batting second, overcame Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. 20-19, his last dropping over the center-field fence after the horn.
Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers beat Houston’s Alex Bregman 21-16 in the first round of the Home Run Derby, and Toronto rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. defeated Oakland’s Matt Chapman 29-13 — a first-round record, one more than Josh Hamilton’s total in 2008.
Chapman hit one 477 feet, the longest of the night thus far, by 1 foot over Guerrero.
Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. defeated Pittsburgh’s Josh Bell 25-18, and New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso sparked boos when he beat Cleveland’s Carlos Santana 14-13, hitting his last with 1 second left on the 4-minute clock.
Even though he’s not on the roster, CC Sabathia was looming large around Progressive Field.
The 38-year-old Yankees pitcher is playing his final season. He was invited by Major League Baseball to take part in this week’s festivities, and was set to be honored for his contributions on and off the field.
“I’m just having a good time, being a fake All-Star here,” he said, laughing. “When the Yankees asked me to announce my retirement, I was like, ‘Announce what? I’m not Derek Jeter. No one will care.’ But this whole deal has been pretty cool.”
Sabathia began his big league career in Cleveland and stayed in town until being traded to Milwaukee during the 2008 season. He still maintains close connections to the city.
The lefty is 5-4 with a 4.03 ERA this season. Overall, the six-time All-Star has 251 wins and 3,057 strikeouts.
“I’m on my way out, I only have three more months, but as a fan, I love offense. There is definitely something different about the baseball, but as I said, I love offense,” he said.
Justin Verlander’s start in the 2012 All-Star Game at Kansas City was memorable — unfortunately for him.
Ryan Braun hit an RBI double, Pablo Sandoval had the first bases-loaded triple and Dan Uggla followed with a run-scoring infield single as the NL started rolling to an 8-0 win.
“I kind of halfway blame it on Prince Fielder,” Verlander said a day ahead of his start for the American League on Tuesday night. “He was at first base, and he kept whispering at me, ‘Ver, Ver, Ver, throw 100.’ OK, Prince, here we go. So that was back then.”
Verlander threw five pitches clocked at 100 mph and another at 101 during a 35-pitch inning.
“I don’t quite throw 100 anymore. Maybe I’ll try tomorrow,” he said. “The goal is to get guys out. That’s it. Thanks for bringing that up, by the way.”
Justin Verlander will start the All-Star Game for the American League for the second time, and Hyun-Jin Ryu will make his first start for the National League.
Verlander, a 36-year-old right-hander, is 10-4 with a 2.98 ERA this year for the Houston Astros, striking out 153 in 126 2/3 innings.
He allowed five runs in the first inning during the 2012 All-Star Game at Kansas City, including the first-bases loaded triple in All-Star history, to Pablo Sandoval. Verlander, who played for the Detroit Tigers, threw five pitches clocked at 100 mph and another at 101 during a 35-pitch inning.
Ryu, a 32-year-old left-hander from South Korea, is 10-2 with a major league-leading 1.73 ERA for the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers. He is the second Asian All-Star starter after Dodgers rookie Hideo Nomo of Japan in 1995.
Houston’s George Springer leads off and plays right field for the AL and is followed in the batting order by New York Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu, Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout, Cleveland first baseman Carlos Santana, Boston designated hitter J.D. Martinez, Houston third baseman Alex Bregman, Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez, Astros left fielder Michael Brantley and Minnesota shortstop Jorge Polanco.
Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich tops the NL order and plays left field. Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Báez hits second, followed by Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Cody Bellinger, Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado, Pittsburgh’s Josh Bell at designated hitter, Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras, Arizona second baseman Ketel Marte and Atlanta center fielder Ronald Acuña Jr.