SEATTLE — National League players ended a nine-game losing streak against American League opponents in the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday. They were on the back foot for most of the game, but Elias Diaz’s two-run homer in the eighth inning won the game.
The American League took the lead with a two-inning home run by Yandi Diaz. In the fourth inning, the National League tied the game at 1-1 with a double by JD Martinez and a single by Luis Araez. In the sixth inning, the American League won again after Salvador Perez and Brent Rooker got on base before Beau Bichet’s sack fly. In the seventh inning, the National League seemed to be tied 2-2, but Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s home run was ruled a foul ball. In the bottom of the ninth, the Americans had a chance to go ahead with two on, but closer Craig Kimbrel snatched the win.
Here’s an inning-by-inning breakdown of the game at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park:
9th: National League 3, American League 2
Zach Kreiser: The National League last won an All-Star Game in 2012 — When there were more active players than you thought. Justin Verlander lost in the American League. 2023 All-Stars Clayton Kershaw and Craig Kimbrel, respectively, pitched in the National League.
In the top of the ninth inning against Pablo Lopez, Juan Soto and Nick Castellanos singled to base, but the National League hitters got no guarantees.
ZC: If the National League holds up, keep that in mind. This lightning-quick double play was decided by line drives from Austin Riley and Pete Alonso.. That could prevent (or, depending on how you look at it, rob) you from watching the tiebreaker Home Run Derby.
Craig Kimbrel came out to try to shut out the National League. After two quick outs, hometown nemesis Kyle Tucker came to bat, Kimbrel walked him to tie the RBI…and yell “Julio!” rice field. The hymn that follows.
ZC: Mariners fans enthusiastically booed Astros players all night long. Shortly after, they booed Kyle Tucker, who roared as he walked to bring Julio Rodriguez to the plate as a winning contender.
ZC: Craig Kimbrel walks Rodriguez, but there’s no ultimate dramatic moment tonight. José Ramirez came in as a duo, but Kimbrel found the zone and struck out to win the National League’s first All-Star Game since 2012. Elias Diaz played the hero and won MVP. Camilo Doval won and Craig Kimbrel held on for the save.
Hannah Kaiser: “Oh my god, it was incredible,” Rodriguez said afterwards. “Honestly, I was really trying to win.”
8th: National League 3, American League 2
Felix Bautista pitched Nick Castellanos to a walk and a wild pitch to second base before Elias Diaz singled out of the field to give the National League their first lead of the night and their first chance at an All-Star Game. gave The inning was completed with three outs centered on Will Smith’s walks.
Later in the inning, Josh Hader allowed a leadoff single to Whit Merrifield Jr. before inducing a flyout and a double play sent to the ninth.
7: AL 2, NL 1
For a while, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a home run off Jordan Romano and it looked like the game was tied again. Instead, the ball was ruled a foul ball. After that, Michael Lorenzen went up to the American League mound to replace Romano, who had to drop out with a stiff back. Gurriel gave a single and Gerardo Perdomo gave a walk, but then two straight outs stopped the threat.
With Camilo Doval’s pitching, Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker was booed in the bottom of the seventh, soon followed by cheers and chants for Julio Rodriguez. Doval put them both out before ending the inning with a Jose Ramirez double and a lineout.
6: AL 2, NL 1
Hometown hero and Home Run Derby star Julio Rodriguez was greeted with enthusiastic cheers and “Julio!” Chorus from the crowd. The American League made several defensive substitutions as Yenie Kano took the mound.
With two outs, pinch-hitter Jorge Soler came to base on an error, and Austin Riley hit a full-count single to put runners in the corner. But Ozzie Alby’s ground ball put the National League half of the inning to an end.
The American League got some action late in the inning on a Salvador Perez single and Brent Rooker’s ground double on a base pass to Alexis Diaz. Then Beau Bichet sacrificed for his second American League goal of the night.
5: AL 1, NL 1
Carlos Estevez took the American League mound in the top of the fifth, working quickly with three outs in a row. In the bottom half, Justin Steele also moved quickly, allowing a single to Austin Hayes but otherwise putting three Rangers out.
4: AL 1, NL 1
George Kirby stole the AL ball in the fourth inning to a roar of cheers from the home crowd. JD Martinez then doubled for his second hit of the game. After two hitters, Luis Araez hit his second single of the game to score the game’s first in the National League.
With two outs, Araez attempted to steal a base, initially ruled safe, but the decision was overturned, ending half of the National League inning.
The “Come to Seattle” chant returned in the back of the inning, with Ohtani leading the charge against National League pitcher Alex Cobb. Ohtani advanced to second base on a wild pitch and third base on a flyout after tying with a walk. However, it was all he could do, and the inning ended with a ground ball.
3: AL 1, NL 0
Sonny Gray substituted for Nathan Iovaldi and gave Freddie Freeman a walk after two quickouts. A Mookie Betts strikeout ended the top half of the inning and kept the National League scoreless.
Josiah Gray then took the National League mound and posted an innings of 1-2-3.
Twice: AL 1, NL 0
JD Martinez opened the scoring in the second with a single from Nathan Iovaldi, who came out to the American League for Cole, and then moved to second on a single from Luis Araez. But that was the limit, as Eovaldi quickly struck out the next two hitters.
In the bottom of the second, Yandy Diaz hit a solo homer off National League pitcher Mitch Keller to score points for the American League.
1st time: 0-0
Things started off with a bang, with Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman hitting deep flies off AL starter Gerrit Cole only to be blocked by outfielders Adris Garcia and Randy Arrozarena, respectively.
HK: We could quickly demonstrate why the All-Star break needed to feature skill contests, especially defensive skill contests.
As the AL’s No. 2 hitter, Shohei Ohtani was immediately greeted with “Come to Seattle” chants from the packed T-Mobile Park crowd. Ohtani struck out against National League starter Zach Garren, but he still feels that way.
HK: Did they plan this?
The first hit of the night came from Randy Arrozarena, who singled to left field before being caught stealing.
“I had a lot of adrenaline on bullpen day,” Cole said after the start.
How did he feel about the near-home run streak right after the game started?
“You have to trust your defense. ‘I mean, I’m here to throw strikes,'” Cole said, “I was a little more worried about Freddie than Ronald. Come on, yeah, you have to trust your defense, you have world-class guys running down the ball, so I think it worked out really well.”