Baseball Factory Alum Eric Hosmer Wins MVP Honors, AL Defeats NL, 4-2
Winning Pitcher: Corey Kluber
Losing Pitcher: Johnny Cueto
Save: Zach Britton
For the fourth straight year, the American League defeated the National League in the MLB All-Star Game, continuing its dominance with a 4-2 victory at Petco Park in San Diego, California as Baseball Factory alumni chipped in with big performances on a grand stage.
Chicago Cubs third baseman and former Under Armour Pre-Season All-American, Kris Bryant went yard in the top of the 1st for the National League, smashing a pitch to left that ricocheted off the scoreboard to give the Senior Circuit the early lead. Playing in the shadow of his former collegiate ballpark at the University of San Diego, Bryant had come into last night’s 87th All-Star Game a lifetime 0-for-6 with six strikeouts against Chicago White Sox ace left hander Chris Sale until his blast to kick off the scoring.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Eric Hosmer, a 2006 Baseball Factory Pre-Season All-American, took his former World Series champion teammate, Johnny Cueto deep, an opposite-field shot to tie the game. Later in the inning, the American League extended their lead, as Hosmer’s teammate, catcher Salvador Perez went deep, depositing a two-seam fastball into the left field bleachers, making the score 3-1. The homers marked the 15th time in All-Star Game history that a two-homer inning occurred.
In the bottom half of the 3rd, the American League pushed across their fourth run of the night. Hosmer singled into left field, off the glove of third baseman, Kris Bryant, scoring Edwin Encarnacion to make it 4-1. Hosmer finished the night 2-for-3 and took him All-Star Game MVP honors in his first ever All-Star Game appearance.
— Baseball Factory (@BaseballFactory) July 13, 2016
Hosmer spoke to MLB.com about the amazing experience of going to his first All-Star Game as a starter and winning the MVP. “It’s a dream come true,” said Hosmer. “(And) it kind of felt like my first big league homer right there. It was special.”
The National League knocked on the door many times throughout the game, threatening to push across runs, but each time, American League pitchers shut the door on a rally. The closest came in the eighth inning when the National League loaded the bases, but Houston Astros reliever Will Harris struck out St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz looking to end the inning.
Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton shut the door in the ninth inning to pick up the save, the first for an Orioles closer in the All-Star Game since Don Aase in 1986.
The National League scattered 10 hits on the night, including knocks from Factory alumni up and down the lineup. Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper batted second, going 1-for-2 with a double in the top of the 3rd off Texas Rangers starter Cole Hamels. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo also went 1-for-2 before being replaced by Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce. Harper attended an Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout in Las Vegas, NV in 2008 and Rizzo was a Team One South participant in 2006.
Cubs short stop and former Under Armour All-American Addison Russell batted ninth for the NL, but went 0-for-2 before being replaced by Los Angeles Dodgers short stop Corey Seager.
It’s mid July, but the Mid-Summer Classic still means something and now holds extra importance for the eventual American League Champion who will have home field advantage throughout the World Series.