Red Sox at the All-Star Game: Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez combine for 3 hits; Nathan Eovaldi, Matt Barnes toss scoreless inning each in American League’s 5-2 win

The American League bested the National League by a final score of 5-2 in the 91st MLB All-Star Game at Coors Field in Denver on Tuesday night, and the Red Sox’ five All-Star representatives played a significant role in making that happen.

Xander Bogaerts

Bogaerts, making his second career All-Star Game start in his third overall appearance, got the start at shortstop for the American League while batting out of the three-hole.

The 28-year-old went 2-for-3 on the night with an RBI and a pair of singles, the second of which came off Marlins starter Trevor Rogers and drove in Orioles’ All-Star Cedric Mullins with two outs in the top of the fifth inning that gave the American League a 4-0 lead at the time it was hit.

Per Baseball Savant, Bogaerts’ two base hits had exit velocities of 109 mph and 92 mph respectively.

He also turned a nifty, unassisted double play to help fellow Sox All-Star Nathan Eovaldi to get out of the bottom of the fourth inning unscathed.

Rafael Devers

Devers, making his first career All-Star Game start in his first overall appearance, started alongside Bogaerts at third base as the two became the first pair of Red Sox teammates to start in the same Midsummer Classic on the left side of the infield.

Batting two spots behind Bogaerts out of the five-hole, the 24-year-old slugger followed a leadoff walk drawn by Aaron Judge in the top half of the second inning by lacing a 106.6 mph double off Brewers starter Corbin Burnes that advanced Judge up to third.

An RBI single courtesy of Blue Jays starter Marcus Semien brought in Judge from third, giving the American League their first lead of the night at 1-0.

Fast forward to the fourth, and Devers — matched up against Rockies All-Star German Marquez — grounded out to shortstop for the first out of the inning, but it was a grounder that left the left-handed hitter’s bat at a scorching 106.3 mph.

Devers, like Bogaerts, was pulled in the middle of the fifth inning.

J.D. Martinez

Martinez, making his fourth career All-Star appearance and his third with the Red Sox, replaced starting designated hitter Shohei Ohtani with no outs and runners in the corners in the fifth inning. He proceeded to strike out on three pitches against Rogers.

The 33-year-old also fanned on four pitches against Brewers All-Star Freddy Peralta in the top half of the seventh, so he finished the night going 0-for-2 with a pair of punchouts.

Nathan Eovaldi

Eovaldi, one of three first-time All-Stars the Red Sox sent to Denver along with Devers and closer Matt Barnes, got the call from his former manager Kevin Cash to take over for Rangers starter Kyle Gibson in the middle of the fourth.

Working on six days rest, the 31-year-old right-hander needed all of 10 pitches (8 strikes) to get through a scoreless frame of relief in which he faced the minimum three batters thanks to that aforementioned double play started by Bogaerts on a Nick Castellanos groundball.

Of the 10 pitches Eovaldi threw on Tuesday, three were splitters, three were four-seam fastballs, one was a curveball, and one was a cutter. The flame-throwing righty induced two total swings-and-misses while topping out at 99.2 mph with his heater. No 100+ mph heat from him.

Matt Barnes

Barnes, making his first career All-Star appearance, did not pitch in the ninth inning as he has primarily done for the Red Sox this season, but he was responsible for a bottom half of the eighth that had plenty of tension.

Fresh off inking a two-year extension to remain in Boston for the foreseeable future over the weekend, the 31-year-old entered with a 5-2 lead to protect, but proceeded to lad the bases on two singles and a walk in the process of recording the first two outs of the frame.

With one out to get, Barnes was matched up against a dangerous opponent in the form of the Cubs’ Kris Bryant, and he fell in behind in the count at 3-0 to make matters even worse.

On the fourth pitch of the at-bat, a 96 mph fastball on the outer half of the plate, the fiery right-hander got Bryant to lift a 296-foot lineout to Angels All-Star Jared Walsh in left field.

It was a lineout that required Walsh, who has never played left field at the major-league level, to make a superb sliding catch, but the out was recorded nonetheless to get Barnes and the American League out of the inning.

Of the 25 pitches (14 strikes) Barnes threw on Tuesday, 18 were four-seam fastballs and seven were curveballs. He topped out at 97.1 mph with his heater.

In tossing a scoreless eighth inning, Barnes wound up picking up the hold as White Sox closer Liam Hendriks shut the door on the National League in the ninth to notch the hold and secure a 5-2 victory victory for the American League.

With the win, the AL has now taken eight consecutive All-Star Games from the NL.

Blue Jays All-Star first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, as he hit the 200th home run in All-Star Game history, which also happened to be a 468-foot blast that left his bat at 110.2 mph.

Guerrero Jr., 22, becomes the youngest player to be named All-Star Game MVP in the game’s history, which dates back to 1933.

(Picture of Matt Barnes, Nathan Eovaldi, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and J.D. Martinez: Boston Red Sox)


Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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