Stanton, Buxton lead AL over NL in 9th straight All-Star win

  • American League's Giancarlo Stanton, of the New York Yankees, swings at a pitch while hitting a two-run home run off National League pitcher Tony Gonsolin, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, on Tuesday during the MLB All-Star baseball game in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES — Giancarlo Stanton homered into an especially sweet spot in his Dodger Stadium homecoming at the All-Star Game, putting his name alongside some of the sluggers he loved watching from the left field seats as a kid.

Byron Buxton followed with another drive and the American League won its ninth straight Midsummer Classic, beating the National League 3-2 on Tuesday night.

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AL manager Dusty Baker reminded his team of the winning streak before the game.

“We had to hold it down for him and keep it going,” Stanton said.

Fans rooting for a tie score after nine innings so they could see a first-time home run derby decide the winner instead of extra innings didn’t get their wish.

Instead, the back-to-back homers in the fourth inning were the difference as the AL boosted its overall edge to 47-43-2.

Facing 11-game winner Tony Gonsolin of the Dodgers, Stanton’s impressive 457-foot, two-run shot landed in the left-field pavilion.

“He smokes them,” NL manager Brian Snitker said. “Big, strong kid.”

Stanton and his father, Mike, would sit out there after buying tickets off scalpers for whatever price they could afford.

“My Pops took me to my first Dodger game, showed me how to have love for this game and now we’re here,” the New York Yankees slugger said. “Look at us, it’s just incredible.”

Despite his love for the home team, Stanton thrilled at seeing the visiting sluggers.

“It was really the big boppers when they came into town,” he said. “I wanted to see (Mark) McGwire, (Sammy) Sosa and (Barry) Bonds, even if it was two at-bats. All that wraps around full circle.”

Stanton was chosen the game’s MVP, receiving a glass bat engraved with his name from two-time MVP Steve Garvey and Billie Jean King, part of the Dodgers ownership.

“It hasn’t fully sank in,” he said. “It’s going to be an amazing memory for all of our lives.”

The homer ended Stanton’s career 0 for 7 skid in the game and at 111.2 mph, it was the hardest-hit homer in an All-Star Game tracked by Statcast. Also scoring was José Ramírez, tying the game 2-all.

Four pitches later, Buxton went deep to give the AL a 3-2 lead against a clearly frustrated Gonsolin, who took the loss.

Nine-time All-Star Clayton Kershaw got the first start of his career for the NL in his home ballpark, with the Dodgers hosting for the first time since 1980. Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani got the game’s first hit on Kershaw’s first pitch.

Framber Valdez of Houston got the win, tossing a scoreless third inning.

AL starter Shane McClanahan of Tampa Bay gave up two runs and four hits. The first-time All-Star, who owns an MLB-leading 1.71 ERA, had allowed four hits or fewer in his last seven starts.

McClanahan combined with 10 other pitchers on the five-hitter. Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase put on quite a show, striking out the side in the ninth to earn the save.

Austin Riley’s single in the eighth was the NL’s only hit after the first inning.

Ohtani led off for the AL as the designated hitter. His hit snapped an 0 for 8 streak as a hitter against Kershaw.

Then the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who leads the majors in home runs, went down swinging. After Rafael Devers walked, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. grounded into a fielder’s choice, and Kershaw walked off to applause from the appreciative crowd.

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