SAN DIEGO – Kansas City Royals teammates Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez homered in the second inning and drove in two runs each to lead the American League to a 4-2 victory over the National League in the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Hosmer was named the game’s MVP, finishing 2-for-3 in his first All-Star Game.
Corey Kluber pitched a scoreless second inning and was the winning pitcher for the AL, while NL starter Johnny Cueto took the loss after giving up three runs in one and two-thirds innings.
Jose Fernandez gave up the fourth and final AL run, when Hosmer singled in Edwin Encarnacion in the bottom of the third. Encarnacion entered the game earlier in the inning as a pinch-runner for David Ortiz, who was making his final All-Star Game appearance. Ortiz grounded out in the first inning and then walked against Fernandez. On Monday, Fernandez said he wanted to see Ortiz hit a home run and would throw him some 90 m.p.h. fastballs to give him that opportunity, but ultimately he went after the slugger with a mix of pitches and ended up walking him on a full count. Ortiz received a standing ovation and was greeted by teammates on the field as he returned to the dugout.
For the second straight year, the AL doubled up on the NL, and the fourth pitch of the game was a home run. Last year, Mike Trout led off the game with a line-drive blast to right and ended up as the game’s MVP. This year, with the NL leading off as the road team, Kris Bryant hit a solo shot to left on the first pitch he saw from Chris Sale, after Ben Zobrist and Bryce Harper had recorded two quick outs on three pitches.
By singling in the first inning, Mike Trout now has a hit in five consecutive All-Star Games, and in fact has gone 5-for-5 in his first at-bat of each of those games.
After the AL took a 4-1 lead, Marcell Ozuna singled in Buster Posey to cut the lead to 4-2 in the top of the fourth inning, and that proved to be the last run of the game. The NL left 10 runners on base, missing several opportunities with multiple runners in scoring position. Perhaps the most dramatic was a bases-loaded strikeout of pinch-hitter Aledmys Diaz by Will Harris.
The NL had another runner on in the ninth, but the game ended when Nolan Arenado hit into a double play. Arenado appeared to think there were two outs, initially jogging toward first before speeding up.
The American League has won four straight All-Star Games, and is 22-6 against the NL since 1998.