The American League held on to defeat the National League, 4-3, in the 90th All-Star Game at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Tuesday for its seventh straight win.
With the AL holding a 4-1 lead in the top of the eighth, rookie Pete Alonso of the NL’s New York Mets, who won the Home Run Derby on Monday, singled with the bases loaded and two out to make it 4-3, but Brad Hand of the Cleveland Indians got Mike Moustakas of the Milwaukee Brewers to pop out to Chicago White Sox catcher James McCann in foul territory.
The New York Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth for the save. MVP honors went to Indians second-year pitcher Shane Bieber, who pitched a scoreless fifth inning and struck out all three batters he faced.
The AL holds a 45-43-2 advantage and has outscored the NL, 373-370. The AL also has a 25-6-1 record over the past 32 All-Star Games.
A familiar face in Cleveland gave the AL a 1-0 lead in the second inning when former Indian Michael Brantley doubled to drive in Houston teammate Alex Bregman, who had an infield single.
Added with George Springer’s single in the first, it was the first time in All-Star Game history that the first three hits by a league came from players on the same team.
Brantley played 10 seasons for the Indians and was an All-Star in 2014, ‘17 and ‘18.
He told Fox during the game that he was moved by the ovation he received during the introductions.
“I always want to make sure the fans know how appreciative I am that they supported me for 10 years of being here and in this outfield,” he said.
After Bieber’s fanned the NL’s Willson Contreras, Ketel Marte and Ronald Acuna Jr. in the top of the fifth, the AL responded in the bottom of the inning to go up 2-0.
New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who began the inning with a double, scored on an infield single by Jorge Polanco of the Minnesota Twins.
Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon cut the deficit to 2-1 in the sixth with a home run to right center on a 95.7 mph fastball by Liam Hendriks of the Oakland Athletics for his first hit in nine career All-Star Game at-bats.
“It was nice to get on the board right there,” Blackmon said.
The American League extended the lead to 4-1 in the seventh starting with a double-play groundout by Boston’s Xander Bogaerts to score Oakland’s Matt Chapman, followed by Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers hitting the first pitch by Will Smith of the San Francisco Giants for a solo homer.