American League Tops National League 4-3 in 90th Midsummer Classic as Red Sox’ Alex Cora Picks up Win in All-Star Managerial Debut

The American League All-Stars defeated the National League All-Stars by a final score of 4-3 on Tuesday night, taking home their seventh consecutive All-Star Game victory in the 90th installment of the Midsummer Classic in Cleveland.

The defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox were represented by three All-Stars in reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and J.D. Martinez, as well as manager Alex Cora and the rest of Boston’s coaching staff.

Starting at designated hitter and batting out of the five-hole in place of the Texas Rangers’ Hunter Pence, Martinez, now a three-time All-Star, went 0-for-2 with a strikeout before being pinch-hit for by Seattle’s Daniel Vogelbach in the sixth inning.

Bogaerts, meanwhile, came on as a pinch-hitter himself, replacing Tampa Bay’s Austin Meadows in the bottom of the seventh.

There, with no outs and runners on the corners, the now-two-time All-Star failed to pick up an RBI, but did push across an important insurance run at the time, scoring Oakland’s Matt Chapman from third while grounding into a 6-4-3 double play. That put the AL up 3-1 moments before Texas’ Joey Gallo added on to that lead with a solo homer off San Francisco Giants left-hander Will Smith.

Finally, Betts, now a four-time All-Star, did not record an at-bar in this one, but he did come on as a defensive replacement for Bogaerts in the top of the eighth, moved over to play right field in place of Meadows, and was on the field for the final out of the night when New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman secured the 4-3 victory for the American League with a five-pitch punchout of Milwaukee’s Yasmani Grandal.

Cleveland Indians right-hander Shane Bieber was named the game’s Most Valuable Player thanks to a 1-2-3 fifth inning in which he struck out the side on 19 pitches, marking the first time since 1999 a player from the host city’s team received the honors (Pedro Martinez, Red Sox).

All in all, it was a solid All-Star Week, the first for Red Sox manager Alex Cora, as a player or coach.

It’s not the first time Cora has come out on top against Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, either.

The Red Sox have two days off on Wednesday and Thursday before opening up a three-game weekend series against those aforementioned Dodgers on Friday night at Fenway Park. It will be their first game in Boston since June 26th.

As Betts put it when speaking with reporters postgame Tuesday night, “Can’t wait to get home.”

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Red Sox’ J.D. Martinez to Hit Fifth for American League in 2019 All-Star Game

After being named to his third All-Star team on June 30th, Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez will start at designated hitter and bat out of the five-hole for the American League in the 90th Midsummer Classic Tuesday night. Sox manager Alex Cora, also serving as the manager for the AL Side this week, made the announcement earlier Monday.

Martinez was originally slated to be a reserve behind the Texas Rangers’ Hunter Pence, but since the Rangers DH suffered a setback with his groin injury while on rehab this past Tuesday, Martinez got the starting nod.

Through 79 games this season, the 31-year-old is slashing .304/.376/.541 to go along with 18 home runs and 48 RBI in his second year with Boston.

In his career hitting out of the five-hole, Martinez has posted a .880 OPS while mashing 68 homers and driving in 213 runs over 1,415 total plate appearances.

Here is how the rest of the American League will be lining up on Tuesday, with two of Martinez’s teammates in Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts available off the bench.

1. George Springer, RF, Astros
2. D.J. LeMahieu, 2B, Yankees
3. Mike Trout, CF, Angels
4. Carlos Santana, 1B, Indians
5. J.D. Martinez, DH, Red Sox
6. Alex Bregman, 3B, Astros
7. Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees
8. Michael Brantley, LF, Astros
9. Jorge Polanco, SS, Twins

Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander will get the start.

First pitch of the 2019 MLB All-Star Game is scheduled for 8:00 PM EDT on FOX.

Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez Selected as American League Reserves for 2019 All-Star Game, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers Snubbed

After neither made it as a starter on Thurday, both Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez were named to the 2019 American League All-Star Game roster as reserves on Sunday, marking the second straight year the pair of sluggers will be representing the Red Sox in the Midsummer Classic.

Betts, now a four-time All-Star, has followed up an MVP-winning 2018 campaign by slashing .261/.381/.454 with 13 home runs and 37 through 82 games in 2019.

Martinez, now a three-time All-Star, has followed up a successful first season in Boston by posting a .298/.374/.549 slash line to go along with 18 homers and 49 runs driven in over 74 games this year.

Both players nearly missed out on becoming starters in the fan vote, and both players are having quality years, no doubt about that. With that said, however, it seems wrong that Xander Bogaerts will not be in Cleveland a week from Monday.

Before Sunday’s game against the New York Yankees, the 26-year-old led all American League shortstops in runs scored (62), RBI (55), on-base percentage (.392), weighted on-base average (.386), and fWAR (3.7).

Through 81 games this season, Bogaerts a one-time All-Star, is slashing .299/.392/.540 with 27 doubles, 16 dingers, and now 57 RBI.  Certainly numbers worthy of representing the American League in the 90th All-Star Game, but it appears the players and Commissioner’s Office members who voted relied more on name recognition than anything for these particular selections.

Rafael Devers has a case to be made as well for not being selected as a reserve, but Bogaerts deserves the honor more out of the two, at least in my opinion.

Speaking of the All-Star reserves, here they are for both sides, as well as the full rosters:

The 90th MLB All-Star Game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 PM EDT on Tuesday, July 9th on FOX.

Red Sox’ Ninth-Ranked Prospect Jarren Duran Selected for 2019 MLB All-Star Futures Game

Rosters for the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Futures Game were announced on Friday, and the Red Sox will be sending just one representative to Cleveland next month in outfield prospect Jarren Duran.

Ranked as Boston’s ninth-best prospect on MLB.com, Duran will join 24 other prospects representing the American League in the Futures Game in Cleveland on July 7th.

For the last 20 years, the showcase was formatted so that the rosters were divided between U.S.-born and international-born players, but that all changes in 2019, as former Cleveland Indians great Jim Thome will be managing the American League side and long-time right-hander Dennis Martinez will be doing the same for the NL.

This honor is a first for Duran, who was promoted to Double-A Portland on June 3rd after a torrid start to the season with High-A Salem, where he led the Carolina League in hitting with a .387 batting average.

Initially, that promotion led to some struggles for the speedy 22-year-old, as he went just 6-for-38 (.158) with two doubles, one triple, and two RBI in his first 10 games with the Sea Dogs, but has since picked things up a bit over his last 11 contests, batting .250 (11-for-44) with one double and three runs driven in over that span.

Granted, Duran’s on-base percentage has fallen from .304 to .286 in that stretch, but that comes as his slugging percentage has slightly risen from .263 to .268 as well.

The call up to Portland has surely been a period of adjustment for the Sox’ 2018 seventh round draft pick out of Long Beach State, but to be named to the Futures Game in your first full season of professional baseball is pretty impressive nonetheless.

Red Sox’ Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez Will Not Start for American League in 2019 MLB All-Star Game

After both made it as starters in their first season as teammates in 2018, Mookie Betts and JD Martinez will not be starting in the 2019 All-Star Game.

Major League Baseball announced who will be starting for the American and National League in the 90th installment of the Midsummer Classic set to take place in Cleveland on July 9th, and neither Red Sox star made the cut.

Betts, 26, finished fifth in the fan vote among American League outfielders, sitting behind Mike Trout, George Springer, Michael Brantley, the starters, and Aaron Judge, the first runner-up.

Betts received 9.1% of the fan vote and should still get in as a reserve, as the reigning AL MVP has posted a .261/.379/.459 slash line to go along with 13 home runs and 37 RBI through exactly 80 games this season.

Martinez, meanwhile, finished second among the three Designated Hitter finalists, with the Texas Rangers’ Hunter Pence taking the first spot and the Minnesota Twins’ Nelson Cruz landing in third. Martinez received 31.2% of the fan vote.

Now in his second season with Boston, the 31-year-old slugger has put together a solid first half of to the 2019 campaign, slashing .287/.364/.528 with a team-leading 17 homers and 45 runs driven in over 72 games. He, like Betts, also has a decent chance to make it as a reserve.

Speaking of All-Star reserves, they, along with pitchers, will be announced on June 30th at 5:30 PM EDT on ESPN.

Per Red Sox Stats on Twitter, “The first 17 All-Star reserves are picked by the player ballot (backup at each spot, 5 starters, 3 relievers). The final 6 reserves are picked by the commissioner’s office. There is no final vote.”

Here is who will be starting in the 2019 All-Star Game for both the American and National League.

 

Recapping the All-Star Game from a #RedSox Perspective.

In what turned out to be a record-setting 8-6 win for the American League in last night’s MLB All-Star Game, I thought I would break down how the five Red Sox representatives contributed to the victory.

Chris Sale

Making his third consecutive start for the American League on Tuesday night, Sale was responsible for just the first inning of the 89th Midsummer Classic. Appearing in the bottom half of the first, the lefty surrendered a leadoff single to Cubs infielder Javy Baez on his very first pitch, then retired the last three batters, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, and Freddie Freeman, on eight pitches, including this nasty 83 MPH slider to fan Goldschmidt for the second out.

Finishing with nine pitches (seven strikes), Sale did not factor into the decision, but he did electrify with a four-seam fastball that topped out at 100.7 MPH, which according to the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, is “the hardest tracked pitch velocity he’s had since 2010.”

Sale will look to build on a successful first half in his next scheduled start against the Tigers in Detroit on Sunday.

Mookie Betts & JD Martinez

The other two starters for Boston, Betts and Martinez had five at bats between them, and Martinez was the only one who managed a hit, as he ripped a two out single off of Max Scherzer in the first inning.

The dynamic duo also struck out three times while failing to drive in a run, so they really did nothing for themselves in terms of making a case for the game’s MVP.

Mitch Moreland

A pleasant surprise, Moreland entered this game in the sixth inning as a defensive replacement for White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu.

A first time All-Star, Moreland struck out in his first at bat against Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez in the seventh, but followed that up by singling in his next two at bats while seeing the win for the American League through until the end.

Looking at the final box score, no one on either roster had more hits than Moreland, so congrats to him on that.

Craig Kimbrel

Per Kimbrel himself, he was not available to pitch last night after the workload he has had recently. Makes sense.

After the American League took home an 8-6 win in 10 innings, former Red Sox draft pick and current Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was named the game’s Most Valuable Player thanks to his go-ahead home run in that 10th and final frame.

Having the next two days off, the Red Sox will be back at it once again this weekend, as they head to Detroit to take on a 41-57 Tigers team. David Price gets the nod against his former team in the series opener. He’ll be matched up against another lefty in the Tigers’ Matthew Boyd. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

Mookie Betts Batting Leadoff, JD Martinez Cleanup in American League Starting Lineup.

In their first season as teammates, Mookie Betts and JD Martinez were voted in by the fans as started in this year’s All-Star Game. Representing the American League for their third and second times respectively, Betts and Martinez have clearly emerged as two of the best hitters in not just the AL, but in all of baseball.

Batting first and fourth for the AL, this should be nothing new for the pair of dynamic hitters. With 52 home runs between them, both Betts and Martinez should be able to make an impact on Tuesday night.

I mean, both have already homered at Nationals Park this season.

With Chris Sale getting the starting nod for the third straight year, the three Red Sox starters will be joined by Craig Kimbrel and first time All-Star Mitch Moreland as well.

First pitch of the 2018 All-Star Game is scheduled for 8:00 PM ET Tuesday on FOX.