BOSTON (CBS) — Homers and strikeouts were the name of the game at the 89th MLB All-Star Game Tuesday night in Washington DC, with the American League pulling out an 8-6 victory in 10 innings.
The game featured 10 homers between the two squads, a new record for the exhibition, but it was a pretty boom-or-bust affair. When baseball’s best pitchers weren’t allowing dingers they were setting down the best hitters in MLB, recording 25 whiffs throughout the game.
The Red Sox had five players in the annual exhibition, but none of them played too big of a role in the final score. Here’s how Boston’s five All-Stars fared Tuesday night:
The Boston lefty got the start for the American League and only tossed one inning (no complaints from anyone in Boston). Sale worked around a leadoff single by Cubs second baseman Javier Baez by getting Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado and Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman to pop out, with a Paul Goldschmidt strikeout sandwiched in between.
Sale got the Diamondbacks first baseman (serving as the NL’s designated hitter on Tuesday) to look silly on a filthy slider for his only punch out of the evening.
Seven of Sale’s nine pitches went for strikes and he touched 100 MPH on the radar gun a couple of times during his lone inning of work. Since Sale was making his third straight All-Star Game start, tying an MLB record, the hat he wore Tuesday night is now heading to Cooperstown.
Before Sale could take the mound, Mookie Betts led things off for the AL. He struck out in his first at-bat, one of two K’s for Mookie on the evening. He went 0-for-3 overall, but looked like he had a blast in the outfield, taking a selfie with Mike Trout and Aaron Judge in the third inning.
The Sox slugger went 1-for-2 in the cleanup spot as the AL’s DH. Martinez singled off Nationals ace Max Scherzer in the first inning to give the American League runners on the corners with two outs, but was stranded when Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez popped out to end the frame.
Martinez struck out against Mets righty Jacob DeGrom to end the top of the third, finishing his night 1-for-2.
The Sox first baseman had himself a night. Moreland entered the game in the sixth inning, and after striking out in his first at-bat, roped a pair of singles in his other two at-bats. His first hit came in the eighth inning off Brewers reliever Josh Hader, and Moreland picked up his second single in the 10th inning off Dodgers righty Ross Stripling.
By design, the Boston closer did not appear in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game. After Kimbrel pitched in four of the last five games ahead of the break, he and the Red Sox asked AL manager A.J. Hinch to stay away from using him, giving the closer a full four days off before the regular season resumes Friday.
Mariners closer Edwin Diaz blew a 5-3 lead for the AL in the bottom of the ninth, surrendering a two-run homer to Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett. After the American League scored three runs in the top of the 10th, Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ came on to close things out, prompting fans to start a #FreeKimbrel campaign on Twitter.
Though he didn’t play, Kimbrel appeared to enjoy himself in the nation’s capital. He had his wife and young daughter, Lydia Joy, with him for the festivities, which was great to see after Kimbrel missed time in spring training to be with his daughter as she underwent a second procedure on her heart.
Boston’s All-Stars can now enjoy a few days off before starting a three-game set with the Tigers in Detroit Friday night.