In one inning, the Astros equaled the number of All-Star game homers they'd had in the entire 55 seasons before it. Move over Cesar Cedeno and Craig Biggio. Make room for Alex Bregman and George Springer who went deep in the 10th inning Tuesday night to lead the American Leaguers over the Nationals, 8-6.
Springer, Bregman celebrate homers
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Timing is everything as Aaron Judge and Mike Trout, two of last year's MVP candidates, drilled solo homers against Max Sherzer and Jacob deGrom respectively for a 2-0 lead. It was 2-1 in the seventh when Houston's Charlie Morton came on in relief. He gave up a solo shot to Trevor Story that evened the game at 2-2.
In the eighth, Former Astro prospect Josh Hader pitched representing Milwaukee. Bregman struck out before Springer singled. Next, Seattle's Jean Segura crushed a three-run blast to left center for a 5-2 lead. Despite giving up a second homer to Christian Yelich of the Brewers, Morton was in line to be the winning pitcher with a two-run lead.
Seattle's Edwin Diaz took the closer role to the ninth but Cincinnati's Scooter Gennett blasted the tying homer with a man aboard. Ross Stripling of the Dodgers, who finished the ninth for the N.L., returned to begin the 10th.
On a 2-2 pitch, Bregman smoked a laser into the left center bullpen for a 6-5 lead. Springer followed with an opposite field homer on the next pitch. It was the sixth time in All-Star Game history that hitters went deep back-to-back. Segura singled next and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly.
Ex-Astro J.A. Happ gave up a lead-off homer to Joey Votto but settled down to close out the game and notch his first big league (albeit exhibition) save.
Personally, I think Segura deserved the MVP Award but the voters chose Bregman and his tie-breaking homer. Springer had two hits and scored twice. Jose Altuve was 1-for-3 but broke an All-Star slump with a single to right-center. As expected, Justin Verlander did not play. Gerrit Cole was also held out of the game.
Astros fans also got to enjoy former Houston players such as J.D. Martinez, Mike Foltynewicz, Jed Lowrie, Hader and Happ.
Bregman is the first Astro to win the game's MVP Award and chose a Chevrolet Camaro as his reward wheels which he immediately said he would give to his mother.
The whole team reunites in Anaheim Friday to begin a weekend series with the Angels. Dallas Keuchel (7-8) will be the first up after the break in a 9:10 pm Central contest.
- Bob Hulsey