Houston Astros teammates Alex Bregman and George Springer hit back-to-back home runs in the 10th inning to help the American League beat the National League 8-6 in the 2018 MLB All-Star Game at Nationals Park on Tuesday. For his efforts, Bregman was named the game's MVP.
Seattle Mariners shortstop Jean Segura smacked a three-run homer in the eighth inning and added an insurance run in the 10th to give the AL an 8-5 lead.
A total of 10 home runs were hit, which shattered the previous record of six, as noted by ESPN Stats & Info. Ten runs were scored in the final three innings (the AL and NL were tied at two entering the eighth frame).
For the first seven innings, it looked like we would see another close, low-scoring game, which has been a trend in recent years. Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer set the tone in the first inning and proceeded to strike out Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts and Astros second baseman Jose Altuve.
He eventually got out of the inning after allowing two baserunners, but New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge gave the AL a 1-0 lead:
In the following inning, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim center fielder Mike Trout delivered an offering from New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom over the fence. The AL led 2-0 after that hit:
Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third frame, sending the first pitch he saw from Tampa Bay Rays starter Blake Snell into the stands. Jesse Rogers of ESPN noted how Contreras, a first-time All-Star, made history with the pitch:
Both teams went scoreless from the fourth through sixth innings, but Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story tied the game at two with a home run off Astros pitcher Charlie Morton:
Segura acted quickly to break the tie, hitting the aforementioned three-run shot off Milwaukee Brewers reliever Josh Hader:
However, Hader's teammate (left fielder Christian Yelich) cut the deficit to two with a homer off Morton. Per Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, Yelich became one of just two Brewers to hit one out in an All-Star Game:
Heading into the ninth, the AL held a 5-3 lead, but Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett deposited a pitch from Mariners closer Edwin Diaz over the right-field fence to tie the game at five:
ESPN Stats & Info noted that the Gennett homer made history for a few reasons:
The NL didn't score any runs in the rest of the ninth, which sent the Midsummer Classic into extra innings for the second straight year. Any inkling of a rehash of the 2002 game, which ended in a 7-7 draw after 11 innings, went away quickly as Bregman and Springer hit back-to-back homers to give the AL a 7-5 advantage:
ESPN Stats & Info reported that Bregman and Springer accomplished something that hadn't been done since 1975:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Teammates Alex Bregman and George Springer hit back-to-back HR in the 10th. They're the 2nd set of teammates with back-to-back HR in the All-Star Game (Dodgers teammates Steve Garvey and Jimmy Wynn did it in the 1975 All-Star Game). Oh, and Joey Votto just hit HR number 10.
The Junior Circuit got an extra run as a sacrifice fly from Cleveland Indians left fielder Michael Brantley scored Segura.
Reds first baseman Joey Votto hit a solo shot off Toronto Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ to bring the NL within two, but the southpaw got the next three outs in order to give the AL a win.
After the game, Bregman spoke about his home run:
"I took a cutter down the middle first pitch, then kind of went into battle mode and was just trying to put a line drive in play and it left the yard. It was crazy. A lot of fun. Normally when we go back-to-back, I have to hit it after Springer does because he leads off, so it was pretty cool to see them go back-to-back."
Understandably, Bregman also said that he was on "cloud nine," per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. The Astros third baseman also won a Chevy Camaro, which Bregman gifted to his mother, Jackie.
With the win, the American League took a 44-43-2 All-Star Game series lead over the NL.