American League wins 2018 All-Star Game behind Astros extra-inning heroics

Major League Baseball’s best players descended upon Nationals Park in Washington D.C. for the 2018 All-Star Game. When the dust settled, it was the reigning World Series champion Houston Astros who stole the spotlight.

Alex Bregman and George Springer, two of six Astros selected for the All-Star Game, broke a 10th-inning tie with back-to-back home runs to help lead the American League stars to an 8-6 win against the National League squad.

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The Astros home runs capped a flurry of dramatic late-inning action. Seattle Mariners shortstop Jean Segura smashed a three-run eighth-inning home run to seemingly put the AL in control. However, Scooter Gennett would tie it again in the ninth inning with a two-run homer off Seattle Mariners closer Edwin Diaz.

The game really had an all-or-nothing feel to it throughout, which fits with the upward trends of home runs and strikeouts during the regular season. In the end, an All-Star Game record 10 home runs were hit, which accounted for 13 of the 14 runs scored. The All-Star pitching staffs combined to strike out 25 batters.

It was the AL’s big boppers who set the early tone. New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge got the scoring started in the second inning with a solo home run off Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer. One inning later, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout went deep against Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets.

The National League responded with solo home runs from Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras in the third inning and Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story in the seventh inning. Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers added another solo shot in the eighth.

With the victory, the American League takes the series with 44 victories to the Nationals League’s 43 in All-Star Game play. There have been two ties, including the infamous 2002 All-Star Game at Miller Park in Milwaukee.

Houston Astros slugger Alex Bregman gives the American League the lead with a solo home run in the MLB All-Star Game. (AP)
Houston Astros slugger Alex Bregman gives the American League the lead with a solo home run in the MLB All-Star Game. (AP)

Who was the 2018 All-Star Game MVP?

Alex Bregman became the first Astros player to be named All-Star Game MVP. There was no shortage of choices with 10 different players hitting home runs, but Bregman got the nod after hitting the go-ahead home run. Bregman finished the game 1 for 3.

How did Bryce Harper fare in the 2018 All-Star Game?

After winning Monday’s Home Run Derby, Harper was pretty quiet in the All-Star game itself. Well, aside from the in-game interview where he admitted Mike Trout was the best player in MLB.

Harper went hitless in two at-bats, striking out swinging against New York Yankees ace Luis Severino in the second inning and striking out looking against Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Blake Snell in the fourth. This could mark the free-agent-to-be’s final All-Star Game in a Nationals uniform.

What were the best moments of the 2018 All-Star Game?

• There were selfies galore as the All-Stars were allowed to snap photos on the field and in the dugout. One that caught everyone’s attention was Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado snapping a photo with Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp at second base.

It’s rumored that Machado will soon be traded to Los Angeles, meaning Kemp could be his teammate the next time he steps on the field.

• The Judge vs. Scherzer matchup was a spectacle unto itself. When Judge went yard, it was a superb All-Star moment. But it was made even cooler by Judge’s teammate, Yankees pitcher Luis Severino, making the catch between warm up pitches.

Needless to say, that’s one home run ball Judge will be getting back, and it’s a pretty cool one to have on the mantle.

• Mike Trout did a little bit of everything he loves during the 2018 All-Star Game. That included sharing the field with his peers, launching his second All-Star home run, and providing a mid-game forecast.

That’s right, when the rains started falling at Nationals Park during the middle inning, the self-professed weather nerd gave a weather report alongside Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal. Trout predicted that the rains would die out, allowing the game to be completed without interruption. Fortunately, he was right on the money.

Where will the All-Star Game be in 2019?

In 2019, the All-Star festivities will move to Progressive Field in Cleveland for the second time since the ballpark opened in 1994. In 1997, the All-Star Game was played at what was then named Jacobs Field. Later that season, it became the tenth ballpark to host an All-Star Game and a World Series in the same season.

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