Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Homers as AL Beats NL in 2021 MLB All-Star Game

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 14, 2021

American League's Vladimir Guerrero Jr., of the Toronto Blue Jays, right, hits a solo home run as National League's Corbin Burnes, of the Milwaukee Brewers, follows through on the pitch during the third inning of the MLB All-Star baseball game, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Gabriel Christus)
AP Photo/Gabriel Christus

Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a 468-foot home run to help the American League win the MLB All-Star Game over the National League 5-2 from Denver's Coors Field on Tuesday.


WELCOME TO THE <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ALLSTARGAME?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ALLSTARGAME</a>, VLADDY. <a href="https://t.co/h3c93bBMn2">pic.twitter.com/h3c93bBMn2</a>

FOX Sports @FOXSports

This angle of the Vladimir Guerrero Jr. blastπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ <a href="https://t.co/ngPxr6YnZ1">pic.twitter.com/ngPxr6YnZ1</a>

Guerrero's solo shot gave the AL a 2-0 lead in the third inning en route to the Blue Jays star earning the All-Star Game MVP award.

Sportsnet Stats @SNstats

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the first player in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeAreBlueJays?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WeAreBlueJays</a> history to be named All-Star Game MVP<br><br>He is also the youngest All-Star Game MVP in history (22 years, 119 days) <a href="https://t.co/b9SbNuBj5G">pic.twitter.com/b9SbNuBj5G</a>

His towering blast was the game's top highlight, and he made some history along the way:

Sarah Langs @SlangsOnSports

At 22 years &amp; 119 days old, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the youngest player to homer in his All-Star Game debut

The other big blast was Tampa Bay Rays catcher Mike Zunino's prodigious sixth-inning homer to put the AL up 5-1.


Mike Zunino is good. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AllStarGame?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AllStarGame</a> <a href="https://t.co/6uA55UOXHB">pic.twitter.com/6uA55UOXHB</a>

American League East players were responsible for all five runs and RBI.

Otherwise, Blue Jays shortstop Marcus Semien opened the scoring with a second-inning RBI single, scoring New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge.


The AL gets on the board first. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AllStarGame?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AllStarGame</a> <a href="https://t.co/qUxTeXk4eM">pic.twitter.com/qUxTeXk4eM</a>

In the fifth, Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernandez hit a leadoff double and later scored off a Guerrero RBI groundout.

Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts later added an RBI single to score Baltimore Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins in the same frame.


Xander Bogaerts is simply a good hitter. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AllStarGame?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AllStarGame</a> <a href="https://t.co/PRzlVZZ1lY">pic.twitter.com/PRzlVZZ1lY</a>

For the NL, Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto put his team on the board with this fifth-inning solo home run:


The NL is on the board, courtesy of <a href="https://twitter.com/JTRealmuto?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JTRealmuto</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AllStarGame?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AllStarGame</a> <a href="https://t.co/xU8ZhNq6s7">pic.twitter.com/xU8ZhNq6s7</a>

The NL had a chance to get back in this game in the sixth when it loaded the bases with two outs following a single and two walks.

San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado scored on a passed ball, leaving Chicago Cubs utility player Kris Bryant at the dish with runners on second and third down 5-2. However, Oakland Athletics pitcher Chris Bassitt got the strikeout to end the threat.

Bryant had another chance to be the hero when he strolled to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth, but Los Angeles Angels left fielder Jared Walsh robbed him:


Jared Walsh has never played left field in the majors.<br><br>He makes this catch to save a couple runs in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AllStarGame?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AllStarGame</a>. 😱 <a href="https://t.co/XcqXcIDPcy">pic.twitter.com/XcqXcIDPcy</a>

The NL got two runners on base but did nothing else in the ninth as Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendriks got the save.

Guerrero ultimately emerged as the game's biggest star, but Angels pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani's accomplishments were still spectacular.

He led off the AL batting order and started the game on the mound one night after smacking 28 home runs in the Home Run Derby.

Two hard-hit balls ended in outs, but Ohtani pitched a spotless first inning to get the AL on the right track. That was good enough for him to get the win with his team scoring in the first and never giving up the lead.

What Ohtani has done defies logic, and he somehow added another line to his ridiculous resume too:

CBS Sports @CBSSports

Just so we're clear, Shohei Ohtani in the last 24 hours:<br><br>β€’ hit 28 HR in the HR Derby<br>β€’ hit a 513-foot HR<br>β€’ batted leadoff in the AS Game<br>β€’ started the AS game on the mound<br>β€’ threw 100.2-mph fastball<br>β€’ 1 IP, 0 runs, 0 hits<br>β€’ earned the win as the pitcher for the AL <a href="https://t.co/IMXqlgw3Ej">pic.twitter.com/IMXqlgw3Ej</a>

Stats By STATS @StatsBySTATS

Shohei Ohtani is the first player in the modern era to start at pitcher, start in the leadoff spot and earn the win all in the same game (regular season, postseason or All-Star).

In the end, two of the game's brightest young stars in Guerrero and Ohtani got the job done for the American League, which won its eighth straight All-Star Game.


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