CLEVELAND (CBSNewYork/AP) — Justin Verlander, Shane Bieber and the American League pitchers plugged power back into the mound.
A day after an awesome Home Run Derby got baseball buzzing even more about monster shots, only a couple balls flew out of Progressive Field at the All-Star Game on Tuesday night.
Instead, Verlander blazed 97 mph heat from the start, Bieber struck out the side and the AL staff combined to fan 16, topping a loaded NL lineup 4-3 for its seventh straight win.
For the New York All-Stars, both the Yankees and Mets’ representatives shined during the midsummer classic.
Derby champ Pete Alonso of the Mets grounded a two-out, two-run single past the Yankees’ Gleyber Torres in the eighth to close the NL’s gap.
Aroldis Chapman threw a perfect ninth to give the AL its 19th win 22 games, with a tie stuck in there. Chapman got a little encouragement with two outs — Yankees teammate CC Sabathia, honored this week for his contributions on and off the field, strolled to the mound to talk to the flamethrower.
Chapman then struck out Yasmani Grandal for a save, giving the AL an overall 45-43-2 lead in the Midsummer Classic.
Masahiro Tanaka, who was a late injury replacement for the AL, pitched a scoreless second inning and actually picked up the win in the game.
For The Mets, ace Jacob deGrom also threw a scoreless inning of relief in the tight game.
If the game went into extras, each team would start the 10th with an automatic runner on second base — luckily, that wasn’t the case Tuesday.
Major League Baseball is on a record-shattering pace for homers this season, but no one came close to clearing the walls until Charlie Blackmon connected in the NL sixth. Texas’ Joey Gallo countered with a solo drive in the seventh.
Still, it was a far cry from last year’s All-Star Game that featured a record 10 home runs.
Cleveland’s Shane Bieber earned the MVP award in front of his home fans, striking out Willson Contreras, Ketel Marte and Ronald Acuna Jr. in the fifth.
Overall, there were 36 first-timers, a number boosted by the absence of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Jose Altuve and several past perennials. And consider this: Of the 16 AL pitchers on the 2017 All-Star roster, zero made the roster this year.
All players wore a uniform patch with No. 45 to honor late Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Los Angeles teammates Mike Trout and Tommy La Stella switched their jerseys to Skaggs’ number, and there was a pregame moment of silence.
The regular season resumes on Thursday night with one game, Houston at Texas. All teams are back in action Friday. … Next year’s All-Star Game is at Dodger Stadium for the first time since 1980.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)