LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the Home Run Derby (all times local):
Washington’s Juan Soto did not need bonus time in his matchup against Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez. Soto’s final home run as time expired gave the fourth seed an 18-17 victory.
Soto, the Derby’s No. 4 seed, established a quick pace with seven in the first minute. His 482-foot shot as time expired was the longest of the first three matchups. Soto established the Derby record with a 520-foot blast last year at Colorado.
Ramirez struggled to gain any consistency throughout his three minutes. He averaged 387 feet with a top blast of 421 feet.
Two-time defending Home Run Derby champion Pete Alonso needed bonus time, but the New York Mets’ slugger was able to keep alive his hopes of being the first player to three-peat with a 20-19 victory over Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr.
Alonso — the Derby’s second seed — trailed by two going into bonus time, but he hit a 423-foot shot to center field with 31 seconds remaining to advance. He had seven go over 440 feet and averaged 429 feet per homer. He also had a 480-foot blast that bounced off the roof of the stands in left-center. Alonso had only five the first minute before warming up.
Acuña also only had five after the first minute. He averaged 408 feet per homer and only one that went over 440 feet — a 472-yard blast that also bounced off the roof in left field.
This is the second time Acuña has been eliminated by Alonso. The first was in the 2019 semifinals.
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Seattle’s Julio Rodríguez advanced to the second round of the All-Star Home Run Derby with a 32-23 win over Texas’ Corey Seager.
The Mariners’ rookie, who has not played at Dodger Stadium, was an underdog against Seager, who was with the Dodgers for seven seasons. He didn’t seem fazed. With Seattle great and three-time Derby champion Ken Griffey Jr. snapping photos on the field, Rodriguez had 10 drives over 440 feet and hit 19 during the final two minutes of regulation.
Rodriguez’s 32 homers averaged 420 feet, with his longest going for 463.
Seager had seven in the first minute but only six in the second to fall off the pace. His homers averaged 418 feet with the longest going for 451. He had three over 440 feet.
Seager has not advanced out of the opening round in either Derby appearance. He lost to Mark Trumbo while a rookie in 2016.
Ronald Acuña Jr. and the rest of the All-Star Home Run Derby field got a fiery welcome to the competition Monday.
All-Star organizers arrayed a series of fire-blasting devices around the stage where the eight participants stood during introductions, and they set off the flames after the introduction of each matchup. The flames were big and bright, and their heat could be felt even in the press box on the third level of Dodger Stadium, more than 200 feet away.
The players were perhaps a few dozen feet away, and they were clearly taken aback by the intense heat. Acuña and Seattle’s Julio Rodríguez reacted with fright when a huge burst went off behind them during another pair’s introduction.
When all eight competitors reached the stage, the organizers set off another huge burst of flames that sent Acuña taking two steps toward the edge of the stage away from the flames.
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