Robinson Cano outslugged Adrian Gonzalez to win the All-Star Home Run Derby on Monday, transporting the old Yankees-Red Sox rivalry to the other side of the country.
Batting last and being pitched to by his father Jose, Cano defeated Gonzalez 12-11 in the finals on Monday after they each hit 20 home runs through two rounds.
In front of a crowd of 44,820 on the night before the All-Star game, Major League Baseball said Cano set a final-round record.
Gonzalez and Cano were the most impressive hitters throughout and they eliminated defending champion David Ortiz of the Red Sox and Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder (nine apiece) in the second round. St Louis’ Matt Holliday (five), Toronto’s Jose Bautista (four), Milwaukee’s Rickie Weeks (three) and the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp (two) didn’t get past the opening round.
Weeks was booed by fans, upset he was picked for the derby over Arizona’s Justin Upton. Chants for Upton resumed when he made nine straight outs.
Fielder, who chose his derby teammates, wound up in a tiebreaker to advance from the first round and went 5 for 5, including a 455 foot drive off the ballpark’s back wall. He had the longest drive of the night at 474 feet and also hit a ball onto the pool deck area in right field.
The pool area was the focus of much of the day’s action, for better or worse.
Days after a fan died at a Texas Rangers game while attempting to catch a ball, the danger was highlighted again when a fan standing on a table above the pool fell trying to catch a homer. He was grabbed by his brother before going all the way over, where he could have fallen about 6m and was dangling by his feet when he was pulled back up.
“I stepped up on the table, I missed the ball by two or three feet and went over,” the fan Keith Carmickle said. “We caught three balls and I told the guys I was going to go for the cycle. Dude, they were really holding onto me.”
Carmickle’s brother grabbed his arms and Aaron Nelson held his legs.
“He wasn’t going down, I was holding on,” Nelson said.
Gonzalez hit a ball that wound up in the swimming pool, along with Mike Moon, a 26-year-old fan who caught the ball before falling into the water, where he was surrounded by bikini-clad women.
“I saw the ball, I didn’t want to spill my beer and I didn’t spill my beer,” he said. “I leaned forward, caught the ball, then fell like that [leaning backward]. It was pretty cool.”