American League 4, National League 2: In the All-Star Game, the Mets Can’t Get Off the Bench as the Royals Lead the Way

Bryant was part of a starting All-Star infield composed entirely of Cubs; only one other team had done that, the 1963 St. Louis Cardinals, with Bill White, Julian Javier, Dick Groat and Ken Boyer. The Cubs sent two starting pitchers to Petco Park, too, but the Giants’ Johnny Cueto (13-1, 2.47 E.R.A.) got the start.

Cueto, a Royal last season, threw a two-hit complete game to beat the Mets in the World Series. He was doing well on Tuesday until he faced his old Kansas City teammates in the second.

Hosmer, who has won three Gold Gloves and made two World Series appearances but had never appeared in an All-Star Game, hit an opposite-field home run to left to tie the score, 1-1. Mookie Betts then singled, bringing Perez to the plate.

Perez, who made the last out of the 2014 World Series with the tying run at third in Game 7 against the Giants, has starred in the spotlight since. He was the most valuable player of last year’s World Series, and this time he pulled a fastball from Cueto down the left-field line for a two-run homer.

Photo

Eric Hosmer of the Kansas City Royals rounding the bases after hitting a home run in the second inning for the American League. Hosmer was named the game’s most valuable player.

Credit
Jake Roth/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

Cole Hamels preserved the lead in the third, allowing runners to reach second and third before striking out Bryant — who made the final out of Hamels’s no-hitter last summer — with a changeup to end the inning. Then the A.L. added to its lead off Jose Fernandez, a Marlins right-hander who got his wish to face David Ortiz.

Ortiz, the celebrated Boston slugger, grounded out sharply to first base in his first at-bat. He expected an easy time against Fernandez but walked and was lifted for a pinch-runner, leaving to hugs from his A.L. teammates.

“I was supposed to hit a home run in my second at-bat,” Ortiz said. “My boy told me he was going to throw me nothing but fastballs, and then the first pitch was a changeup! I was like, ‘Wait, I thought you told me you were going to throw nothing but fastballs — what happened?’”

Ortiz gave the team a pep talk before the game — at the urging, he said, of a Major League Baseball official — and said he was touched by the adoration of players like Bryant, who called Ortiz his hero.

“The way I see these kids getting prepared to perform,” Ortiz said, “it’s very impressive.”

Ortiz referred specifically to Red Sox teammates like Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts, who doubled into the left-field corner after Ortiz’s walk. Hosmer lined a single to third that handcuffed Bryant and scored the pinch-runner, Edwin Encarnacion, to give the A.L. a 4-1 lead.

Marcell Ozuna singled in a run for the N.L. in the fourth, but in the sixth, A.L. Manager Ned Yost began his parade of dominant relievers. The strategy has helped make Yost’s Royals a force in October, and it worked again in July.

Yost turned to his relievers with a lead in the sixth inning in Cincinnati last summer, and the A.L. won. This time, he summoned his own setup man, Kelvin Herrera, who retired the side in order in the sixth.

Next came a Yankees setup man, Dellin Betances, who matched last year’s scoreless seventh inning with another this time. Betances allowed a single but was otherwise overwhelming with his breaking ball and his fastball, fanning Corey Seager to start the inning and Nolan Arenado to end it.

Just as he does in the regular season, the Yankees’ Andrew Miller followed Betances in the eighth. He allowed singles by Jonathan Lucroy and Starling Marte and then walked Adam Duvall to load the bases with two outs.

Yost replaced Miller with Will Harris, setting up an unlikely matchup at a critical moment. Harris, who took over as the Houston Astros’ closer last month, faced Aledmys Diaz, a St. Louis Cardinals rookie who became the team’s unlikely starter when Jhonny Peralta was hurt in spring training.

Diaz ran the count full before taking a called third strike on a cutter that clipped the corner, low and away. That ended the last N.L. threat, and Baltimore’s Zach Britton earned the save in the ninth.

INSIDE PITCH

Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy, a former Met who had three hits for the N.L. on Tuesday, held a sign displaying Sandy Alderson’s name during baseball’s “Stand Up to Cancer” promotion before the sixth inning. Several uniformed Mets, including Manager Terry Collins, held up the name of Alderson, the Mets’ general manager, who has been treated for cancer this season.

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