July 18 (UPI) — The American League edged the National League 8-6 in a record-breaking slugfest at the 2018 MLB All-Star Game Tuesday at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
Baseball’s best combined for 10 home runs, the most ever hit at the Midsummer Classic. Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and outfielder George Springer hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the 10th inning, giving the American League a 7-5 lead in the 89th edition of the showdown.
Bregman was named MVP for his effort, highlighted by the 376 foot longball.
“Just an incredible two years for the Houston Astros,” Bregman told Fox Sports. “It has been a blast. Being able to be on this field with such great players on both sides … Have my family and friends in attendance. This is really special to us.”
The two-time All-Star and 2017 American League Rookie of the Year settled in against Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer as the first batter of the second inning. He fouled off a 95-mph fastball before mashing Scherzer’s next offering over the left center field fence for a 399 foot home run.
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout gave the American League a two-run lead with another solo shot in the top of the third inning. Trout smoked a 2-1 pitch from New York Mets star Jacob deGrom over the left center field fence for a 401 foot blast.
The National League cut the deficit in half in the first at-bat in the bottom of the frame. Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras blasted Blake Snell’s first pitch of the game for a solo shot to left field.
Neither squad plated a run for the next three innings, before the National League’s lumber heated up. Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story stepped in to face Astros hurler Charlie Morton in the bottom of the seventh inning. Morton got a called strike on a 97.3-mph fastball. He then tossed in a 97.8-mph fastball, which Story swatted for a solo shot to left field, tying the game at 2-2.
Milwaukee Brewers lefty Josh Hader manned the mound in the top of the eighth inning. He allowed a leadoff single to Texas Rangers designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo, before striking out Bregman. Astros outfielder George Springer followed that at-bat with a single to left field, before Segura walked to the plate. He smacked a 3-2 offering from Hader to left center field, giving the American League a 5-2 lead.
The National League plated another run in the bottom of the inning, getting a solo shot from Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich.
National League arms Brad Hand and Ross Stripling sat down American League in order in the top of the ninth inning. Story struck out to begin the bottom of the frame, before Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto took a walk. Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett followed the free pass by tying the game with a two-run blast to right field.
Bregman led off the top of the tenth inning with a solo shot to center field. Springer hit the next pitch for another solo shot to right center field, giving the American League a 7-5 advantage.
“I actually just swung and missed at a fastball in my last at-bat,” Bregman said. “I was just trying to put it in play. I’m fortunate that it got out like it didn’t the time before.”
“I’m just so proud of these guys to enjoy this moment,” American League manager A.J. Hinch told Fox Sports.
“To see these guys in the dugout and interacting with all of these great players from around the league, genuinely just fired up to be here. And come up big in those moments. I’ve seen it before — haven’t seen it in an All-Star Game like this — and I’m pretty proud of them.”
Reds first baseman Joey Votto tried to spark a comeback with a solo blast to lead off the bottom of the tenth inning, but Toronto Blue Jays southpaw J.A. Happ escaped the frame without allowing another run.
The American League has won the All-Star Game six consecutive times and holds a 44-43-2 edge against the National League in the all-time series.