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Last night, Major League Baseball’s greatest athletes faced off in the annual MLB All-Star Game. This year, the Midsummer Classic, which has been an annual tradition for nearly a century, saw the American League’s All-Star team defeat the National League’s team in a 4-3 victory. This year’s Midsummer Classic is the seventh consecutive All-Star Game that the American League has won. In fact, the American League has won 11 of the 14 All-Star Games that have taken place since 2003 and 45 All-Star Games total. The National League has won 43, and the teams tied just once, in 2002.
Despite the close score, the American League maintained its lead for the entire game. The team scored its first run in the second inning, when Michael Brantley (left field, Houston Astros) hit a double that sent Alex Bregman (third base, Astros) to home plate. Neither the American League nor the National League scored again until the fifth inning, when Gary Sanchez (catcher, New York Yankees) got to home plate on a single that Jorge Polanco (shortstop, Minnesota Twins) hit infield.
It took until the sixth inning for the National League to put any numbers on the board. The Midsummer Classic became a 2-1 affair when Charlie Blackmon (right field, Colorado Rockies) sent the ball over the wall. Although an exciting home run in a game relatively lacking in dramatic moments, the bases were empty when Blackmon hit his homer, giving the National League only one run.
The seventh inning would see the American League’s batters respond in kind, with two runs added to the team’s score. Xander Bogaerts (shortstop, Boston Red Sox) pulled off a double play that pushed Matt Champan (third base, Oakland Athletics) to home base. Not long after, Joey Gallo (center field, Texas Rangers) hit a homer with bases empty, just as Blackmon did the previous inning.
With the score at 4-1, the National League attempted a comeback in the eighth inning. Pete Alonso, the Mets first baseman who won the MLB’s Home Run Derby the night prior, batted in two runs on a single. This brought the score to 4-3, which would ultimately prove the game’s final score, giving the win to the American League.
At the game’s end, Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was awarded the game’s win, and Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was given the loss. For holding the American League’s 4-3 win in the final inning, Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman received the save.
However, none of these players were the night’s most honored pitchers. Since this year’s All-Star Game took place at Cleveland’s Progressive Field, legendary pitcher CC Sabathia, who got his start with the Cleveland Indians before joining the Yankees in 2009, took to the mound with two outs left in the final inning so the Cleveland crowd could cheer for him one final time, as Sabathia will retire after this MLB season. The Cleveland spirit carried on in Indians pitcher Shane Bieber, who was named the night’s MVP.
Outside All-Star affairs, this week, the MLB will offer exciting moments as the Astros visit the Rangers for the only game happening tomorrow, July 11th. The week will wrap up with a three-game Dodgers visit to Fenway Park, which is only the third time the team has traveled to the Red Sox’s home turf in MLB history.