AL’s Cano can do
Mariners star belts home run in top of 10th inning for winning margin In the season of the home run, pitchers ruled the All-Star Game. Almost. With the outcome hanging by a thread in the 10th inning, things abruptly changed with one big swing of the bat
He played Home Run Derby against Chicago Cubs reliever Wade Davis, lining a leadoff homer to right field to lift the American League to a 2-1 victory in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Marlins Park.
Davis hung a breaking ball on a 1-1 pitch and Cano hammered it, becoming the first American League player in All-Star Game history to hit a home run in extra innings. He was, of course, named the game’s MVP.
“I know I was facing one of the best closers in the game,” Cano said. “I was just ready, for whatever he threw over the plate, I was going to swing … I (was) going to take a pitch right over the middle.”
Tuesday marked the first extra-inning All-Star Game since 2008, a game that lasted 15 innings.
Colorado, with four players in the Midsummer Classic for the first time, did not factor in the game’s outcome, but Nolan Arenado made some history of his own. He hit two singles, becoming the first Rockies player to have two hits in an AllStar Game.
“That felt good. You always like to get hit, especially in a game like this,” he said. “You always want to hit a home run, but two hits in two at-bats is pretty good.”
Arenado nearly hit a home run in his second at-bat but hooked it foul down the third-base line.
The National League was in position to
win the game in the ninth when Boston reliever Craig Kimbrel walked two batters. But Kimbrel, who has allowed just five runs all season, struck out the Mets’ Michael Conforto, sending the game into extra innings.
Arenado singled off AL starter Chris Sale in the second and led off the fourth with a single to left off Kansas City’s Jason Vargas. When Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman followed up with a deep fly to center, Arenado decided to test the arm of Boston’s Mookie Betts by tagging up and trying to reach second. Bad idea. Betts’ 93 mph throw was perfect, and he threw out Arenado with ease.
“Well, I’m not the fastest guy, so I didn’t think I was going to do much from first base,” Arenado said. “And, man, he threw that ball from the warning track. I thought I could beat it, but he made a great throw.”
Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon batted 0-for-3 and had an uneventful evening, save for hauling in two flyballs. Blackmon lined out to right to lead off the first, swinging at the first pitch of the game from Sale.
Blackmon struck out in the second and grounded out to second base in the fifth.
Rockies closer Greg Holland, who had 28 saves in 29 chances prior to the break, took care of business in the eighth. He got former Kansas City teammate Mike Moustakas to fly out to deep right and struck out Justin Upton before Cleveland’s Michael Brantley singled to right. Holland regrouped to strike out the Indians’ Francisco Lindor on three pitches.
“There was a lot of adrenaline out there,” Holland said. “I wish I could had a 4-0 lead or something in that situation, but I knew I had to hang tough. I’ve faced Brantley a lot in the past, and he’s a tough out for me. But I got us out of the inning.”
Holland was just the fifth Rockies pitcher to appear in the Midsummer Classic and the first since Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010.
Rockies second baseman D.J. LeMahieu, still recovering from a strained groin, did not play in the game.
“Yeah, I’m better, but that was kind of the plan going in, to probably not play me,” LeMahieu said.
The American League finally broke the ice in the fifth against Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood. Baltimore’s Jonathan Schoop smashed a double down the left-field line and scored on a bloop single to shallow right by Minnesota’s Miguel Sano.
Cardinals veteran catcher Yadier Molina — he of the glittering gold chest protector and helmet — tied the game 1-1 in the sixth with a solo homer off the Twins’ Ervin Santana. Molina became the first Cardinals player to hit a homer in an AllStar Game since Reggie Smith in 1974.
The American League dugout erupts as Seattle’s Robinson Cano circles the bases on a home run during the 10th inning Tuesday night in Miami.