San Diego, CA – It took a pair of Royals to lead the American League to a 4-2 victory over the Natonal league. But it was only fitting that the team with the best record in the league, have their starting pitcher and catcher get the nod. Johnny Cueto and Buster Posey were among the starters for the MLB All-Star game. Cueto made an early ext after he got rocked by his former teammates.
Chris Sale of the American League gave up a solo home run to Kris Bryant to lead off the first. The National League 1-0 lead was short lived. In his first appearance, Cueto forced Jose Altuve to pop out, gave up a single to Mike Trout and forced Manny Machado to fly out. David Ortiz then lined out to end the inning.
“When you make mistakes like I did in the big leagues, that is what happens,” Cueto said through an interpreter. “If you leave your pitches up. You pay the price.”
By the second the AL went up 3-1. Kansas City Royals teammates Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez took Cueto deep twice. Hosmer hit a solo blast to left field to tie the game 1-1. Mookie Betts singled and Perez followed with a two-run shot to left field to extend AL lead. The game was fun for all but must’ve beeen a special moment for both Hosmer and Perez to homer off their former starting pitcher.
“I’m not trying to make excuses but sometimes you get up and you don’t feel well,” said Cueto. “This morning I got up and didn’t feel well. That is not an excuse. I wanted to go out there and pitch and do the best I could.”
Cueto’s been phenomenal in his first season with the Giants and is the first pitcher to start an All-Star game since Matt Cain in 2012 and the eighth overall. He leads the NL with a 13-1 record and a 2.47 ERA. Cueto’s brief appearance wasn’t the best memory for the All-Star game. But he’s still part of a team who has the best record in the Majors and has been known for winning a World Series during even years.
Hosmer became the first Royals player to be honored with the MVP since former NFL standout Bo Jackson in 1989. Hosmer homered off Cueto in the second and knocked in a RBI single in the third. He and his teammate Perez were the only players to lead the AL to victory. The win will give an American League club home-field advantage in the World Series.
“This whole week, this whole San Diego All-Star Game has been unbelievable,” Hosmer said. “It’s a dream come true, and it kind of felt like my first big league homer right there. It was special.”
The Giants other starter Buster Posey played in his fourth All-Star game and joined Walker Cooper as the only catchers in franchise history to start three All-Star games.
In his first at-bat he grounded out in the second. By the fourth, Posey got on base with a walk and scored in off Miami Marlins Marcell Ozone’s single making it a 4-2 game. First timer Brandon Belt pinched hit in the eighth and flew out to left field.
“It was pretty cool,” said Belt. “I was just trying to take it all in as much as I can, and it was awesome to get in there at the end and get an at-bat. It is something that I will never forget. I’m just glad I got in there.”
The Oakland A’s only representative this year was catcher Stephen Vogt. He made his second straight All-Star appearance. Vogt had six former teammates who made the roster this year, Yoenis Cespedes, Bartolo Colon, Jon Lester, Drew Pomeranz, Ben Zobrist and Josh Donaldson. Vogt didn’t play but enjoyed being recognized as an All-Star as well as being apart of the weekend of festivities.
“I was there, and I was ready but I wasn’t sure if I was going to pinch-hit or catch later,” Vogt said. “Obviously I would have liked to play, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. But I enjoyed myself, and I’m still an All-Star.”