The Latest: Bregman named All-Star Game MVP for go-ahead HR
WASHINGTON (AP) The Latest on baseball's All-Star Game (all times local):
Alex Bregman has been named the All-Star Game MVP for his go-ahead homer in the 10th inning that sent the American League to an 8-6 victory.
Bregman's homer was one of a record-breaking 10 in the game, but it put the AL ahead for good as baseball's best put on a power exhibition in the late innings. His Astros teammate George Springer hit one out immediately after Bregman.
The 24-year-old Bregman is a first-time All-Star in his third major league season. He hit 19 homers last year and has 20 so far this year.
There were 10 homers on the night at Nationals Park, shattering the previous All-Star Game record of six. Seven came in the seventh inning or later.
While the power display entertained the fans who stuck around for the end of the 3 hour, 34-minute game, the one-dimensional exhibition won't allay any concerns about a sport that's becoming defined by home runs, strikeouts and walks.
Thirteen of the 14 runs came in on homers. All but two of them were solo shots. Jean Segura's three-run homer in the eighth was the only hit with a man in scoring position.
The nine long balls shattered the previous All-Star Game record of six. Bregman and Springer took Ross Stripling deep. Michael Brantley followed with a sacrifice fly, the first run to score from something other than a homer.
Scooter Gennett hit a 2-run homer in the ninth to send the game to extra innings.
Gennett's one-out drive off Edwin Diaz scored J.T. Realmuto to pull the National League even at 5-5.
Votto dropped a foul popup along the NL dugout railing with runners on first and second and a 3-2 count on Segura, who launched the next pitch over the left-field wall.
It was the first hit with a runner in scoring position in the game. All seven runs were scored via home runs, the first four coming on solo shots.
Segura went deep off Josh Hader. He became the third player in the game to homer in his first career All-Star at-bat, following Willson Contreras and Trevor Story.
Trevor Story has homered in the seventh inning to draw the National League even 2-2 in the All-Star Game.
Story pulled his hands in and ripped an inside fastball from Charlie Morton down the left-field line and into the first row of bleachers.
It was Story's first All-Star at-bat. Willson Contreras also went deep for the NL in his first time at the plate as an All-Star.
All four runs have been scored on solo homers.
Light rain has begun falling at the All-Star Game as a small band of showers moves through Washington.
The rain caused some fans to head for the concourses but appeared unlikely to delay the game.
Earlier Tuesday, strong thunderstorms led to standing water in the National League dugout. But the field was in good shape by the time the game started after 8 p.m.
The American League leads the National League 2-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
Willson Contreras put the National League on the board in the All-Star Game by homering off Blake Snell in the third inning.
Contreras hit the first pitch from Snell just over the wall in left field to cut the American League lead to 2-1.
All three runs have scored on solo homers.
Trout went deep on a 1-2 fastball, sending it into the AL bullpen in left field.
It was Trout's second homer in five All-Star Game appearances and improved him to 7-for-14 in his All-Star career. He later popped out to foul territory in the fifth. He was named MVP of the game in 2014 and 2015.
Leading off the second inning, the Yankees slugger got ahold of a belt-high 0-1 fastball from Scherzer and sent it into the bullpen beyond the left field fence.
It was Judge's first All-Star Game hit in his second appearance. He went 0-for-3 last year.
National League manager Dave Roberts tapped Scherzer to start the game in part because it's being played at his home ballpark. The Nationals right-hander made his third All-Star start.
A combat medic who received the Medal of Honor for his service in Vietnam has thrown out the ceremonial first pitch for the All-Star Game at Nationals Park.
James McCloughan was one of 30 Medal of Honor recipients to be honored before the game. After serving in Vietnam, McCloughan spent 38 years as a high school baseball coach in Michigan.
In choosing McCloughan, Major League Baseball stayed away from political controversy during the first All-Star game in 49 years in Washington. President Donald Trump did not attend the game a day after he drew bipartisan criticism for siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin over Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy threw out the first pitch at All-Star games in Washington during their terms. Dwight D. Eisenhower declined because he was recovering from surgery, while Richard M. Nixon had to delegate the responsibility to Vice President Spiro Agnew because the 1969 game was postponed one day by rain.
Harper hit 19 homers in the final round of Monday night's competition at Nationals Park to beat Schwarber by one. Hitting in front his hometown fans with his father pitching, Harper appeared to be running out of time to catch the Cubs slugger before he hit nine homers in his final 10 swings to tie him. Because he hit two homers over 440 feet in the round, Harper earned 30 seconds of extra time that he used to hit the decisive long ball.
The competition rules state that the pitcher has to wait until the previous ball has landed before throwing another one. Video from the event shows Harper's father, Ron, apparently breaking that rule. Umpires on the field did not intervene.
But that didn't stop Cubs fans from complaining that Harper cheated or that the event was rigged. The result was also bitter for bettors who put money on Schwarber to win, a population that has increased with expanded legal sports gambling in the United States.
Severe thunderstorms that blew through Washington in the afternoon soaked the field at Nationals Park, but players hope the conditions are safe and playable for the All-Star Game.
The rain stopped in time for the NL and AL to take abbreviated batting practice
"You have to deal with elements," NL starter Max Scherzer of the host Nationals said. "You have to pitch when it's cold, you have to pitch when it's hot, when it's windy, when it's rainy. This is just another element of baseball that a pitcher just has to deal with."
With the storms over, there was not much concern about delaying or postponing the game as much as how the water on the field could affect play. Nearby Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport took more than 2 inches of rain, and there was standing water in the NL dugout.
"Hopefully it's dry and everybody's safe and nobody gets injury," Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz said. "That's the goal."
If Manny Machado is heading to Los Angeles, the Dodgers would be thrilled to have him.
USA Today reported Tuesday that the Orioles were expected to trade their All-Star shortstop to the Dodgers on Wednesday, barring a last-minute snag. Machado says he hasn't heard anything from his agent and he refused to answer a hypothetical question about going to the Dodgers.
Dodgers right-hander Ross Stripling says: "Things are getting serious now. That's the kind of bat and the kind of player that you want in your lineup."
Stripling says it's good to be on a team that's buying instead of selling at the trade deadline. He also credited the Dodgers for making midseason moves while hanging onto big league-ready prospects.
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp says he's good friends with Machado but hasn't heard anything. He says Machado would bring excitement to LA.
Tony Clark, the head of the baseball players' union, said earlier Tuesday he'd like to talk to the league about free agency after so many players were left unsigned for months last winter.
With Clark broaching the possibility of a 2021 labor struggle, Votto told The Associated Press that previous generations of players set up the current tug of war between the sides, which he thinks is healthy for the game.
With trade rumors swirling, Manny Machado made a fashion statement as he arrived at Nationals Park for the All-Star Game.
Machado wore a gray double-breasted suit with no shirt underneath the jacket and an inch-wide gold chain during a red carpet interview with MLB Network. He sported bare ankles, white sneakers and tortoiseshell sunglasses.
As for where he'll play next, Machado doesn't know. He says it's "tough" to think that the All-Star Game could be his last in a Baltimore Orioles uniform. But he also says he's "blessed to be talked about. Blessed to know that people out there want me, they want me to go out there and help (the) team win."
Machado played third base before this season, when he moved to shortstop, the position he'd played in childhood and throughout the minor leagues. He thinks he'd stay at short for any team that trades for him and says he would prefer not to move back to third.
The tarp is on the field and early arriving fans are seeking cover or wearing ponchos as a summer thunderstorm rolls through downtown Washington ahead of the All-Star Game.
Heavy rain and lightning started shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday at Nationals Park and were predicted to continue into the early evening. But if the forecast holds, it should be clear by the first pitch, which is scheduled for 8:18 p.m.
The last All-Star Game to be postponed by rain was the last one in Washington, 49 years ago. It was rescheduled for the next day and President Richard Nixon had to delegate first-pitch duties to Vice President Spiro Agnew.
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is outlining concerns in the way the sport has changed and says owners want a broad conversation with players about rules changes.
Manfred says concerns include the time between putting balls in play, the increased number of strikeouts, an increase in home runs, the far greater use of infield shifts, the lessened length of starting pitcher outings and the increase in the use of relief pitchers.
He maintains the changes are the result of "smart people who want to win more" in front offices and says MLB and the players must decide "at what point do we want to step in, OK, and manage that organic change."
Manfred says "this organic change may be driven by competition, but there's lots of places in life where competition has to be bridled a little bit."
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is defending teams' reluctance to sign free agents last offseason and says union head Tony Clark has not responded to a pair of invitations to have a broad discussion about players' concerns and changes in the way the game is played.
Manfred says "the only purposeful behavior that took place in the free-agent market last year is our clubs carefully analyzed the available players and made individual decisions as to what they thought those players were worth. ... I'm pretty sure, based on what's already in the books, you're going to make the judgment that the clubs made sound decisions as to how those players should be valued. That's how markets operate.
Players consider teams' reluctance to sign free agents last offseason "a direct attack" on their rights, according to union head Tony Clark. He hinted that the sport's quarter-century of labor peace could end if concerns are not addressed.
More than 100 free agents remained unsigned when spring training began. Many signed at a fraction of the price they thought they were worth and many received shorter deals than they expected.
Baseball had eight work stoppages from 1966-95 but has had labor peace since. The current labor contract runs through the 2021 season.
Asked whether he thought there could be a work stoppage at the end of the deal if players' concerns are not addressed, Clark says that, "to the extent there are challenges to those rights, historically I would suggest those have manifested themselves a particular way."
The head of the baseball players' union favors expanding the wild-card playoff from one game to a series, but he says there are scheduling challenges.
Major League Baseball began winner-take-all, one-game playoffs in each league in 2012, when the postseason field was expanded from eight to 10.
In the AL East this year, the New York Yankees could wind up as a wild card with a record that currently projects to 106 wins.
Union head Tony Clark says "having series is always ... better for a player in a lot of ways than a one-game playoff" and adds "it would be great if we can find a way in the future to have that first game be a series, but there are some challenges there."
The schedule currently starts in the last week of March or the first week of April, and the World Series sometimes ends in November. But, the division winners might not like having an extended break before the playoffs.
The head of the baseball players' union says conversations will take place with the commissioner's office over whether prohibitions against legalized gambling among his members' relatives may be needed.
Following a U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down a federal prohibition on sports gambling, New Jersey enacted a law allowing bets on games. Team employees including players are prohibited under baseball rules from betting on the sport, but there are no rules covering their families.
Union head Tony Clark said there will a wide discussion with management about legalized gambling that will include talk of "six degrees of separation" and where lines should be drawn. Clark also is concerned about player data in relation to gambling.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Updated July 18, 2018
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