CLEVELAND (AP) _ Make it seven straight wins for the American League in the All-Star Game.
Joey Gallo’s solo homer in the seventh inning gave the AL a 4-1 lead before the junior circuit hung on for a 4-3 win over the National League in Cleveland.
The story for the American League was on the mound as nine hurlers each threw one inning and combined to allow just five hits while striking out 16. Indians hurler and game MVP Shane Bieber gave the local fans a thrill by striking out the side in the fifth. Liam Hendriks and Aroldis Chapman also fanned three in their one inning of work.
Former Indian Michael Brantley opened the scoring with an RBI double off loser Clayton Kershaw, scoring Astros teammate Alex Bregman. Gary Sanchez began the junior circuit’s second rally by leading off the fifth with a double before scoring on Jorge Polanco’s single.
Charlie Blackmon put the NL on the board with a two-out homer in the sixth, but the AL regained control on a run-scoring double-play grounder and a solo homer by Joey Gallo. The insurance runs came in handy once Home Run Derby winner Pete Alonso delivered a two-run single in the eighth.
Masahiro Tanaka (mah-sah-HEE’-roh tah-NAH’-kah) worked a scoreless second to get the win.
The American League leads the overall series, 45-43-2.
Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco was saluted in the fifth inning of the All-Star Game during Major League Baseball’s “Stand Up to Cancer” campaign after being recently diagnosed with a form of leukemia. Carrasco had been feeling fatigued in May, and was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia following an exam at the Cleveland Clinic.
He has been cleared to resume conditioning and throwing activities to the extent he can tolerate them.
UNDATED (AP) _ Commissioner Rob Manfred says Major League Baseball has been unable to find any changes in the manufacturing process of balls.
Manfred also insists that MLB has given no direction toward the alteration of baseball and denies that owners want to see more home runs.
A May 2018 report by professors specializing in physics, mechanical engineering, statistics and mathematics concluded there was less drag on the ball, causing more homers. Batters have hit 3,691 homers in 1,345 games, on pace for 6,669. That would be 9% over the record 6,105 hit in 2017.
Astros hurler Justin Verlander is among several pitchers who have intimated recently that the balls are juiced. Manfred countered by saying “manipulation of the baseball is a great conspiracy theory.”
Manfred also said that extending protective netting down foul lines is a ballpark-to-ballpark decision because of differing configurations. Following a series of foul balls that injured fans, Major League Baseball mandated ahead of the 2018 season that netting extend to the far end of each dugouts. Still, several fans have been hurt by foul balls this season.