Robinson Cano connected on an extra-innings home run to send the American League to a 2-1 win over the National League in the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday night at Marlins Park in Miami.
“Honestly, I was just trying to hit it hard and see if I could hit one out and I was lucky to hit it out,” Cano said on the Fox broadcast following the win.
Cano’s homer marked the fourth time in history — and the first time in exactly 50 years — that an All-Star has delivered a go-ahead home run in extra innings, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
“I was able to put a barrel on it and hit it out of the park,” Cano said with a big smile during an in-dugout interview in the 10th inning, with fellow AL All-Stars Miguel Sano, Nelson Cruz and Salvador Perez draped over his shoulder.
The home run off Chicago Cubs closer Wade Davis gave the AL its fifth win in as many summers and was enough earn Cano — an eight-time All-Star — MVP honors.
“He’s a guy you’ve got to take advantage of whenever he comes over the plate,” Cano said of Davis. “He’s filthy and one of the best closers in the game.”
The first run of the night came courtesy of Sano, who dunked a perfectly placed single into right field in the top of the fifth.
The Minnesota Twins third baseman, who’s second in the majors in average exit velocity, dunked his RBI hit right in between Bryce Harper who charged in from right and Ryan Zimmerman who raced out from first base.
An inning later, Yadier Molina knotted the score, 1-1, sending a solo home run into the right-field bullpen. The drive off Ervin Santana made Molina, who turns 35 on Thursday, the oldest catcher in history to homer in the summer exhibition.
“I feel like a little kid right now,” Molina said during an in-dugout interview.
As he rounded second base he got a slap on the back from AL shortstop Francisco Lindor, who also hails from Puerto Rico.
“Running the bases, seeing Lindor there — having fun with me — I mean, it was a great moment.”
Quiet night for Posey
Making his fifth appearance in the Midsummer Classic, Buster Posey had an uneventful evening at Marlins Park.
The San Francisco Giants backstop caught the first five frames before giving way to Molina. Posey flew out to center in the first and drew a two-out walk in the third.
Alonso singles twice in All-Star debut
Making his first All-Star appearance at 30 — in his hometown no less — Yonder Alonso collected a single off the bench in the sixth. The Oakland A’s first baseman fought off a high-and-tight 91-mph four-seam fastball from Zack Greinke for a two-out, jam-shot single to right.
Alonso singled again into right in the ninth, grounding a Kenley Jansen offering into the outfield that kicked off the glove of Josh Harrison. The A’s All-Star, who represented the go-ahead run, made it all the way to third after stealing second and a Jansen balk, but was stranded there.
Alonso is the second Oakland player — along with Rickey Henderson — to produce a multi-hit night and steal a base in the All-Star Game, per ESPN Stats & Info.
During the bottom of the third, the Fox broadcast crew interviewed Houston Astro star George Springer, as he stood in left field, mic’d up. Then, half an inning later it was Bryce Harper’s turn, and the Washington Nationals five-time All-Star flipped the script on Joe Buck, who also calls NFL Games.
“How you think Dak’s going be this year?” Harper asked, referring to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
First a selfie
Before Nelson Cruz took his at bat in the top of the sixth, the Seattle Mariners designated hitter stopped at the plate and asked NL catcher Yadier Molina to snap a picture with himself and home-plate umpire Joe West.
Cruz produced his iPhone, which he then slipped into his back pocket for his at bat.
“That was a very weird moment right there,” Molina admitted. “I didn’t know what he said at the first moment, and then I was like, ‘Yeah. I’ll take a picture with you and Joe.’ It was a great moment, a funny moment.”
West recently umped his 5,000th game — becoming one of three umpires in league history to hit that milestone.