Advertisement

2017 MLB All-Star Game: Robinson Cano's 10th-inning blast gives AL 2-1 win

By
Walter Villa, The Sports Xchange
Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale throws in the second inning at the 2017 MLB All-Star game at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida on July 11, 2017. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI
Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale throws in the second inning at the 2017 MLB All-Star game at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida on July 11, 2017. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI -- For the first time in more than a decade, this All-Star Game didn't count, at least in terms of home-field advantage in the World Series.

However, it was still a tense, tight and well-played game with diving catches, two homers and a double play that was initiated 400 feet from home plate.

Advertisement

In the end, the game was decided by one mighty swing from Robinson Cano, whose home run in the top of the 10th inning led the American League to a 2-1 win over the National League on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.

Facing Chicago Cubs reliever Wade Davis, the Seattle Mariners second baseman pulled a 1-1 pitch for a line-drive shot over the fence in right.

RELATED 2017 MLB All-Star Game: Miguel Sano's single gives AL 1-0 lead in All-Star Game

"I knew I was facing one of the best closers in the game -- Davis is filthy," said Cano, who was selected the game's MVP. "Whatever he was going to throw over the plate, I was going to swing."

Thanks in part to Cano, the AL won its fifth straight All-Star Game and tied the all-time series 43-43-2.

Advertisement

Both closers stranded runners on third in the ninth. The Los Angeles Dodgers' Kenley Jansen struck out three of the four batters he faced, and his AL counterpart, Craig Kimbrel of the Boston Red Sox, punched out two batters, including the New York Mets' Michael Conforto to send the game to extra innings.

RELATED Washington Nationals OF Bryce Harper has new idea for MLB All-Star Game format

Kimbrel got the win, and Davis took the loss.

Andrew Miller pitched a scoreless bottom of the 10th for the save, getting help on a diving catch in right field by the Detroit Tigers' Justin Upton.

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina had an eventful sixth inning. In the top of the inning, Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz asked Molina to take a photo of himself with umpire Joe West, who last month became the third ump to work a 5,000th game.

RELATED 2017 MLB midseason awards: New York Yankees OF Aaron Judge leading way for AL MVP

After a brief tutorial on how to use Cruz's camera phone, Molina dutifully squatted down and took the shot. Cruz then stuffed the phone in his back pocket and flied out to center.

Advertisement

"That was a weird moment," Molina said. "It was a great moment, a funny moment."

In the bottom of the sixth, Molina tied the score 1-1 on an opposite-field homer that landed in the bullpen in right field. Molina, 34, became the oldest catcher to homer in an All-Star Game, beating the previous record held by Yogi Berra.

"I felt like a little kid running the bases," Molina said.

Bryce Harper, the Washington Nationals star, endeared himself to fans in Miami with his choice of cleats. Harper wore shoes that honored the late Jose Fernandez, the Marlins pitcher who was killed in a boat crash last September. Harper's shoes had an image of Fernandez's face along with the pitcher's No. 16.

Harper went 1-for-1 with a walk and a stellar catch.

NL starter Max Scherzer, Harper's Nationals teammate, pitched just one inning, but he was dominant, striking out two.

The first NL reliever, Pat Neshek of the Philadelphia Phillies, pitched a scoreless second inning, thanks to his defense. Harper made a brilliant diving catch in right-center field, saving what might have been extra bases and an RBI off the bat of Salvador Perez.

Advertisement

"I was just trying to get over there so that ball didn't drop in and they score that run," said Harper, who did a hair flip after making the grab. "Pitching is so good here that I was thinking that one or two runs could win the ball game."

AL starter Chris Sale of the Red Sox pitched two scoreless innings. He got in trouble in the second when the Nationals' Daniel Murphy and the Colorado Rockies' Nolan Arenado hit opposite-field singles with no outs. However, Sale escaped when he got Washington's Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a double play before striking out Miami's Marcell Ozuna on a pitch in the dirt.

The NL threatened again in the third, loading the bases against Yankees reliever Dellin Betances, getting two walks and a single. But Betances got Murphy to bounce out to end the inning.

Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts provided an AL highlight in the fourth. After a single by Arenado, Zimmerman hit a drive to the start of the warning track. Betts caught it and threw out Arenado, who was trying to get the extra base at second.

Advertisement

Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano, who participated in the Home Run Derby on Monday, used more luck than power to deliver the game's first RBI in the fifth. With the Baltimore Orioles' Jonathan Schoop at second base after a two-out double past third, Sano hit the ball off the end of his bat, getting a soft run-scoring single behind first base.

Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood allowed the run.

Minnesota Twins pitcher Ervin Santana gave up Molina's game-tying homer.

Oakland A's first baseman Yonder Alonso, born in Cuba and raised in Miami, was one of the game's under-the-radar stars, going 2-for-2 with a steal.

It was quite a performance in his first All-Star Game, and, fittingly, the first Midsummer Classic played in Florida.

"It was incredible," Alonso said. "Coming to this country at 10 years old ... A lot of people opened doors for me when I had nothing. For me to give back to those people -- I had 60 people here -- it's priceless."

NOTES: The game's starting third basemen, the Colorado Rockies' Nolan Arenado and the Cleveland Indians' Jose Ramirez, each finished 2-for-2. Ramirez also stole a base. ... Nine of the All-Stars played high school ball in Florida -- more than any other state. ... Miami Marlins RF Giancarlo Stanton had the fastest exit velocity during Monday's Home Run Derby (121 mph). ... During batting practice, New York Yankees RF Aaron Judge, the Home Run Derby champ, hit a ball off the roof of the retractable dome at Marlins Park. Judge went 0-for-3 on Tuesday.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines