In a baseball season that has been highlighted by historic home run rates, the All-Star Game was a pitchers’ duel.
Mariners slugger Robinson Cano finally broke a 1-1 stalemate with his solo homer off Cubs closer Wade Davis in the top of the 10th as the American League All-Stars defeated the National League All-Stars by a score of 2-1 on Tuesday night in Miami. The save went to Indians left-hander Andrew Miller, who wrapped two groundouts and a strikeout around a two-out walk in the bottom of the 10th to seal the one-run victory. The All-Star Game MVP -- and a brand new Corvette -- went to Cano.
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina provided all of the meaningful offense for the National League with an opposite-field homer against Twins right-hander Ervin Santana in the bottom of the sixth. Twins third baseman Miguel Sano got the AL on the board first with an RBI single in the top of the fifth that scored Jonathan Schoop of the Orioles from second base.
This one didn’t count, and it wasn’t all that interesting for lovers of offense. But that’s just fine.
We saw a couple of Midsummer Classic stalwarts do their thing on the big stage.
Now it's on to the second half of the 2017 campaign.
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Bumgarner On Course For Saturday
It’s all-systems-go for Madison Bumgarner’s return to the Giants’ rotation Saturday in San Diego.
Bumgarner allowed just one unearned run over six innings Monday in his final rehab start with High-A San Jose, limiting the Mariners’ California League affiliate to one walk and two hits on 86 pitches. It was an important rebound outing for the big left-hander, who got lit up for nine earned runs in just four innings last Wednesday at San Jose -- needing 76 pitches to make it through those four frames.
Bumgarner has been on the disabled list since April 21 after suffering tendon tears in his left shoulder in an off-day dirt-bike accident. There’s some lingering concern that he might not be the same pitcher when he returns, but Monday’s outing will ease the panic for now. Bumgarner should be allowed to throw 90-plus pitches in his first game back in the majors, and the ace left-hander is looking at a juicy matchup in the familiar Padres.
Bumgarner went eight innings versus San Diego in his second start of the 2017 season, back on April 8. He’s made just four total starts this year for the Giants, who are 22 games under .500 at the break.
Hendricks Ready Right After Break?
Bumgarner finished fourth in the 2016 National League Cy Young Award voting. The guy who came in third, Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks, is also trending toward a weekend return from the disabled list.
Hendricks yielded one run on two hits and a walk over 3 1/3 innings Monday in his rehab debut with Double-A Tennessee and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio offered a positive report to Gordon Wittenmyer ahead of Tuesday night’s MLB All-Star Game: “Everything went really well,” said Bosio. “He was really happy with it on a hot, humid night in Tennessee. He said his stamina was good and didn’t have any issues at all. But I want to see from my own eyes.”
Hendricks will be reevaluated by the Cubs’ coaching staff ahead of Friday night’s series opener at Baltimore’s Camden Yards and he could be activated to pitch Saturday or Sunday.
Hendricks has been on the disabled list since June 4 because of tendinitis in his pitching hand. He was sporting an underwhelming 4.09 ERA and 51/21 K/BB ratio through 61 2/3 frames this season for the defending champs.
National League Quick Hits: Cardinals activated second baseman Kolten Wong from the 10-day disabled list … MLBPA executive director Tony Clark offered no update Tuesday on the status of Jung Ho Kang … Dodgers acquired outfielder Todd Cunningham from the Cardinals for cash considerations.
American League Quick Hits: Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that the Red Sox have "keen interest" in Phillies reliever Pat Neshek … Chris Davis is on track to return to the Orioles’ active roster for Friday night’s series opener against the Cubs … Orioles sent INF Paul Janish and OF David Washington to Triple-A Norfolk.