2016 All-Star Game: American League Secures Home-Field Advantage For World Series, Eric Hosmer Named MVP
2016 All-star Game: American League Secures Home-field Advantage For World Series, Eric Hosmer Named Mvp
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Home-field advantage in the World Series was again on the line with the best from the American League and National League taking the field at Petco Park for the 87th edition of the All-Star Game. The AL entered with a three-year winning streak and winners in 10 of 13 Midsummer Classics since home-field advantage was awarded to the victor.

While the game was played at the San Diego Padres’ home, the NL was considered the visiting team as this is the second of a four-year stretch where an NL stadium is hosting the All-Star Game. Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale broke two bats en route to retiring the first two batters of the game.

He then had his first pitch crushed into the left field stands by Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs. The solo home run came with special meaning for Bryant, who starred at the University of San Diego.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim center fielder Mike Trout improved to 5-for-5 in his first at-bats of the All-Star Game with a one-out single. Nothing came of it as San Francisco Giants righty Johnny Cueto retired the next two batters faced.

Cueto then struggled in the second inning, allowing an opposite-field solo home run to former teammate and Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer. Later in the inning, Royals catcher Salvador Perez tacked on a two-run homer to give the AL a 3-1 lead.

Hosmer and Perez became the first teammates to homer in the same All-Star Game since Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz in 2004. What’s more, they are the first teammates to hit a home run in the same inning of an All-Star Game since Los Angeles Dodgers Steve Garvey and Jimmy Wynn did so in 1975.

Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez replaced Cueto and got Trout swinging to strand a runner on first base. Texas Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels gave up a leadoff single to Colorado Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez in the third inning. After a fly out, Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist hit into a force out.

Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper followed with a double but Hamels struck out Bryant to escape the jam. In his 10th and final All-Star Game, Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the third.

Ortiz was promptly removed for a pinch runner, received a standing ovation and was greeted by his AL teammates on his way into the dugout. Young Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts doubled down the left field line, and Hosmer followed with an RBI single.

Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez walked Giants catcher Buster Posey, then gave up a single to Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna cut the NL’s deficit in half with an RBI single to center field.

Padres starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz worked around a one-out single to keep the score 4-2 through four innings. Pinch hitter Daniel Murphy of the Washington Nationals reached on an error to open the fifth but was erased on a force out.

Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado then went first to third base on Padres’ first baseman Wil Myers’ two-out double. White Sox starter Jose Quintana worked his way out of trouble by striking out Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos on three pitches.

Atlanta Braves righty Julio Teheran retired the side in order in the bottom of the fifth. Pitching also dominated the sixth inning, with both sides failing to have a runner reach base. Facing New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances, Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager led off the seventh and struck out on five pitches.

Murphy singled with one out and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. He was stranded by Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado. Seager’s fielding error allowed Baltimore Orioles left fielder Mark Trumbo to reach in the bottom half of the seventh.

Cubs lefty Jon Lester then walked Seattle Mariners second baseman to put two on with none out. Lester was removed after getting a force out and fly out. Pittsburgh Pirates closer Mark Melancon inherited runners on second and third and walked the Blue Jays’ Edwin Encarnacion to load the bases.

Murphy prevented a run from scoring and ended the inning by making a backhanded stop on a grounder hit up the middle and strong throw to first base. Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy pulled a one-out single into left field off Yankees reliever Andrew Miller.

Pirates left fielder Starling Marte lined a pinch-hit single into right field to put two on. St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz pinch hit for Seager, which prompted AL manager Ned Yost to replace Miller with Houston Astros reliever Will Harris.

Diaz worked a full count only to be called out on strikes to end the inning. The NL stranded 10 baserunners up to that point and trailed, 4-2, headed to the bottom of the eighth. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen entered with two outs in the eighth and struck out Orioles catcher Matt Wieters.

Orioles closer Zach Britton came on in the ninth and worked around a Murphy leadoff single to convert a save in the AL’s 4-2 victory that clinched home-field advantage in the World Series a fourth consecutive year.

Hosmer, who went 2-for-3 with one home run and two RBIs, was named All-Star Game MVP. That ended Trout’s streak of winning the award two consecutive years and it prevented the Angels center fielder from becoming the first player in MLB history to be named MVP at the Midsummer Classic three straight years.