Tanaka Gets Win, Chapman Earns Save As AL Wins All-Star Game 4-3

Alonso Rips 2-Run Single, DeGrom With Scoreless Inning

WFAN.com
July 09, 2019 - 9:32 pm

USA Today Images

Categories: 

CLEVELAND (AP) — Justin Verlander, Shane Bieber and the American League pitchers plugged power back into the mound.

A day after an awesome Home Run Derby got baseball buzzing even more about monster shots, only a couple balls flew out of Progressive Field at the All-Star Game on Tuesday night.

Instead, Verlander blazed 97 mph heat from the start, Bieber struck out the side and the AL staff combined to fan 16, topping a loaded NL lineup 4-3 for its seventh straight win.

For the Yankees, DJ LeMahieu went 0-for-2 at the plate as the starting second baseman. He was replaced by his teammate Gleyber Torres. Torres, who was an injury replacement for the American League, went 1-for-2 with an infield single in the 8th inning. 

Gary Sanchez got the start at catcher and went 1-for-2 with a double and a run scored before he was replaced by James McCann. 

Masahiro Tanaka came in the game and pitched a scoreless 2nd inning. He gave up a hit and struck out one. 

Finally, Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman came in the 9th inning in Cleveland and recorded the save to cap off the 4-3 win for the American League. Chapman struck out the side in a dominant inning of work. His teammate CC Sabathia came out in the 9th inning with two outs to chat with Chapman and get an ovation from the crowd in his final season in the majors. 

For the Mets, Jacob DeGrom came in the 3rd inning and set the American League down 1-2-3 in his third All-Star Game appearance. DeGrom retired George Springer, DJ LeMahieu and Mike Trout in order. It was the second perfect All-Star inning of DeGrom's career. His only mistake in an All-Star Game came last year when he gave up a home run to Mike Trout in Washington, D.C. 

Pete Alonso replaced Freddie Freeman at first base in the 4th inning in his first All-Star Game after winning the Home Run Derby Monday night. He went 1-for-2 at the plate, ripping a big two-run single in the 8th inning to make it a 4-3 game. He followed by stealing second base as part of an uncontested double steal. Alonso also made a terrific stretch at first base on a difficult play in the 6th inning. 

Jeff McNeil replaced Kris Bryant in left field in the 6th inning in his first All-Star Game. McNeil came up once in the 8th inning and flew out.

With fans hoping to see a replay of Monday's jaw-dropping aerial show when 312 homers cleared the walls, the diamond became a pitchers' paradise — at least until the late innings.

No need, either, for the experimental rule that was set to go effect: If the game went into extras, each team would start the 10th with an automatic runner on second base.

Major League Baseball is on a record-shattering pace for homers this season, but no one came close to clearing the walls until Charlie Blackmon connected in the NL sixth. Texas' Joey Gallo countered with a solo drive in the seventh.

Still, it was a far cry from last year's All-Star Game that featured a record 10 home runs.

Instead, Cleveland favorite Michael Brantley had an early RBI double off losing pitcher Clayton Kershaw, Jorge Polanco drove in a run with an infield single and another scored on a double-play grounder.

Masahiro Tanaka, Lucas Giolito and Shane Greene did their parts to protect the lead with scoreless innings, shutting down Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger and the rest of the NL boppers.

Bieber earned the MVP award in front of his home fans, striking out Willson Contreras, Ketel Marte and Ronald Acuna Jr. in the fifth.

Fittingly, the first batter of the game was the guy who leads the majors in home runs — Yelich, the NL MVP with 31 homers at the break, hit leadoff for the first time this year.

Yelich lined out and Verlander, featuring 97 mph heat, quickly fanned Javier Báez and Freddie Freeman to finish his work. Those juiced balls that Verlander is complaining about? Didn't bother him a bit.

Báez came up again in the third with a bright red bat, stepped out of the box and playfully waved to his pal Francisco Lindor in the AL dugout.

NL starter Hyun-Jin Ryu and Luis Castillo also threw scoreless innings to keep the NL close in the early going.

Pittsburgh slugger Josh Bell was part of the youngest starting lineup in All-Star history, with the NL crew averaging under 26 years old.

Overall, there were 36 first-timers, a number boosted by the absence of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Jose Altuve and several past perennials. And consider this: Of the 16 AL pitchers on the 2017 All-Star roster, zero made the roster this year.

TRIBUTE

All players wore a uniform patch with No. 45 to honor late Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Los Angeles teammates Mike Trout and Tommy La Stella switched their jerseys to Skaggs' number, and there was a pregame moment of silence.