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NL 3, AL 2: Elias Díaz’s home run breaks NL’s win drought

The AL’s nine-game winning streak came to an end on Tuesday night.

MLB: All Star Game-National League at American League Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The American League has dominated All-Star Game proceedings in recent years, winning the last nine and 21 of the last 25. However, this year the National League got some revenge.

The Rockies’ Elias Díaz hit a big go-ahead home run in the eighth inning that gave the NL a late lead. He took home MVP honors as the Senior Circuit came away with a 3-2 win in this year’s All-Star Game.

With Cole on the mound, the game got off to a very eventful start. In the first two at-bats of the game, both Ronald Acuña Jr. and Freddie Freeman took Cole pitches to deep right and left field respectively. However, both Adolis García and Randy Arozarena made remarkable catches to kick off the game with a bang.

The third out was slightly less eventful as Mookie Betts routinely grounded out. That would be all for Cole, and — with Aaron Judge not playing — all for Yankees players in the 2023 All-Star Game. While he did give up two very loud outs, he did throw a perfect inning in the scorebook.

The AL opened the game’s scoring in the bottom of the second. Yandy Díaz took a Mitch Keller pitch over the wall in left for a solo shot.

Following Cole was a pair of former Yankee pitchers in Nathan Eovaldi and Sonny Gray, who each threw scoreless frames. Then the NL tied things up in the fourth.

With hometown hero George Kirby on the mound, J.D. Martinez led off the inning with a double. A couple batters later, Luis Arraez — who seemingly never stops hitting — recorded his second hit of the day, a single that tied things up.

The game stayed tied for a while after that, with both teams missing out on some chances. The AL left Shohei Ohtani in scoring position in the bottom of the fourth, while the NL had runners at the corner in the sixth and failed to convert. That put the game somewhat in reaching distance of the new All-Star Game tie-breaking home run derby thingy.

However, the AL then struck to retake the lead in the bottom of the sixth. With Salvador Perez on after a single, Brent Rooker laced a hit to deep right field that bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double. While that held up Perez at third, it left him in position to score when Bo Bichette hit a deep fly ball in the next at-bat.

It then seemed like the NL answered pretty quickly on a Lourdes Gurriel Jr. home run in the seventh. However, the play was reviewed and was eventually ruled a foul ball, just barely. After the review, Blue Jays pitcher Jordan Romano exited the game mid-at-bat with back tightness after being examined by trainers. Detroit’s Michael Lorenzen replaced him and got into a bit of trouble, allowing a single to Gurriel and a walk to Geraldo Perdomo. He managed to get out of the jam, retiring Juan Soto and Pete Alonso.

The AL then brought in the Orioles’ Félix Bautista for the eighth inning. Following a Nick Castellanos walk to start the inning, Díaz took Bautista deep, giving the NL the lead for the first time on the night.

In the bottom half of the inning, the AL had a chance to strike right back when Whit Merrifield led off the inning with a single. However two batters later, Rooker lined one straight at Austin Riley at third base, who then got Merrifield at first for a double play.

NL manager Rob Thomson brought in his own player in the Phillies’ Craig Kimbrel for the ninth inning. Leading off the frame, Wander Franco came incredibly close to a game-tying home run, only for it to die at the wall. Kimbrel got the next two outs, but then issued a walk, bringing Seattle’s own Julio Rodríguez to the plate with the game on the line. There would be no storybook moment, but he did draw a walk to keep the game alive. Kimbrel finally sealed the deal after that, striking out José Ramírez to end the game.

And with that, we’re on to the second half. After a few baseball-less days, the Yankees will return to action on Friday night as they go to Colorado to play the Rockies and the new All-Star Game MVP.

Box Score