Astros’ Alex Bregman, George Springer lead American League to win in All-Star Game
Via Houston Chronicle
WASHINGTON — A man in Dodgers blue stood defeated beneath a national audience on the baseball’s biggest stage, staggered again by the swings of the defending World Series champions.
Alex Bregman and George Springer clobbered go-ahead, back-to-back home runs against Ross Stripling in the 10th inning of a record-setting All-Star Game, sending the American League to a 8-6, 10-inning win that featured a record-setting 10 home runs between the two leagues.
The Astros entered Nationals Park without a hit in an All-Star Game since 2011. Even Jose Altuve, their reigning MVP and four-time Silver Slugger had not hit safely in any of his five previous appearances.
Altuve lined a first-pitch single against Aaron Nola in the fifth inning, affording the reigning American League MVP another career milestone — his first hit in six All-Star Game appearances.
Oh, the show he missed.
A day removed from 15 Home Run Derby lasers into the left field seats, Bregman – who became the first Astro to earn All-Star Game MVP honors – annihilated Stripling’s 2-2 fastball well into the left field bullpen, tying a game Edwin Diaz choked away in the ninth.
Springer crushed the next pitch to right, padding the American League lead to 7-5 and evoking eerie memories of last October, when this once-middling franchise conquered the mighty Dodgers in the most heart-stopping of ways.
Diaz earned the win despite ceding a game-tying, two-run home run to Scooter Gennett with an out in the ninth inning, destroying a teammate’s heroics and setting the Astros up for theirs.
In a tie game against former Astros farmhand Josh Hader, Springer laced a one-out single to left field, advancing Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to second base. Choo’s one-out single was the first hit struck all season by a lefthanded hitter against Hader.
Hader, momentarily, had reprieve. Mariners shortstop Jean Segura lifted a full-count pitch lazily to Joey Votto in foul territory. The Reds first baseman dropped it, earning boos from an engaged, NL-proud crowd of 43,843.
Two pitches later, Segura launched a three-run home run into the left field bullpen.
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