A recap of the midsummer classic

2019 MLB All-Star Game Recap: AL wins 4-3

Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The 2019 MLB All-Star game was loaded with Astros, including starters Alex Bregman, George Springer, Michael Brantley, and starting pitcher Justin Verlander. Here is how they, along with the rest of the American League team, did against the National League squad.

Verlander gets the nod and tosses a great inning

Justin Verlander received the honor of starting the All-Star game, and with the game in Cleveland, was up on the mound in the top of the first. He was impressive in the first, getting a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. He would get just the one inning as the AL went to Masahiro Tanaka in the second.

Astros provide the early offense

George Springer recorded the first hit of the night, leading off the bottom of the first with a single. He would move to second then third on a couple of groundouts but would be left stranded there to end the inning. Tanaka worked around a two-out single in the top of the second to keep the game scoreless.

Alex Bregman gave the American League their second hit by lasering a ball down the third base line and giving the sure-gloved Nolan Arenado too much handle, earning a one-out single. He would come around to score the first run of the night after Michael Brantley shot a ball into the left-center gap off of Clayton Kershaw, getting Bregman home from first on an RBI-double.

Offenses heat up in the middle innings

The 1-0 lead held over the next few innings as the All-Star pitchers made it through the opposing lineups with just a few hits along the way. That is until the bottom of the fifth when the AL would get a leadoff double by Gary Sanchez of the Yankees who moved to third on a groundball then scored on an RBI-single by Jorge Polanco of the Twins to extend the lead to 2-0.

The National League finally got on the board themselves in the top of the next inning, getting a two-out solo home run from Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies to trim the lead to 2-1. The AL would answer back in the bottom of the seventh, putting the lead back at two runs after Matt Chapman of the A's worked a leadoff walk, moved to third on a single by James McCann of the White Sox, then scored on a double play, making it a 3-1 lead.

Joey Gallo of the Rangers came in as a pinch-hitter next, and hit the second home run of the night with a solo home run on the first pitch he saw, extending the lead further to 4-1.

AL holds on to win

The NL had their best inning of offense in the top of the eighth, loading the bases against Brad Hand of the Indians to set up a two-RBI single for Home Run Derby champion Pete Alonso of the Mets, cutting the lead to one run at 4-3.

Hand would get out of the inning with the one-run lead, then Aroldis Chapman, closer for the Yankees, came in for the top of the ninth. He would get through the inning scoreless, giving the AL their seventh straight All-Star game win.

Final Score: American League All-Stars 4, National League All-Stars 3.

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After splitting the first two games of the series, including the extra-inning affair on Saturday, the Astros looked to defeat the Angels on Saturday to secure the series win and leave Los Angeles with a winning record. On the mound were two pitchers looking to shrug off bad debuts to the season. Here is how the game went on Sunday afternoon:

Final Score (11 innings): Astros 6, Angels 5.

Record: 5-4, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Blake Taylor (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jacob Barnes (0-2, 3.86 ERA).

James walks his way into trouble

After a disastrous start to his pitching season where he was unable to record an out, Shohei Ohtani was able to sit down the Astros 1-2-3 on just eight pitches in the top of the first. However, Houston would take advantage of his struggling command in the top of the second, working three straight walks to load the bases with no outs. They then would get two more walks with two outs to grab an early 2-0 lead and end Ohtani's day early yet again.

Meanwhile, on the mound for Houston was Josh James. He, too, allowed some walks but was able to work around them in the first two innings, erasing two in the bottom of the first and one in the second for two scoreless innings.

That changed in the third when he would walk the bases loaded with two outs before Albert Pujols continued his nearly twenty-year reign of being a thorn in Houston's side, hitting a grand slam, Los Angeles' first hit of the day, to put the Angels up 4-2. James would get the final out of the third, but that would conclude his day, making it two straight starts he would be unable to reach the fourth inning. His final line: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 6 BB, 4K, 1 HR.

Valdez impresses as Bregman makes it a one-run game in the seventh

Framber Valdez was first out of Houston' bullpen, likely to try and eat up several innings. He would accomplish that mission, getting through the next three innings scoreless, holding the 4-2 score. It remained locked on that score despite Houston getting runners on base in each of those innings, as they would struggle to turn players on base into runs yet again in this series.

Alex Bregman gave the Astros a spark in the top of the seventh, leading off the inning with a solo home run to straightaway center to make it a one-run game. Valdez returned for yet another inning, another scoreless frame to keep it 4-3 going to the eighth.

Reddick ties it in the ninth, Astros win in extras

Houston would threaten to tie in the top of the eighth, getting a pinch-hitting Carlos Correa to third base after a single to leadoff the inning, but would be unable to score him, leaving it at 4-3. Valdez would record another scoreless inning in the bottom of the eighth, giving the Astros one more chance to tie or go ahead in the top of the ninth.

Michael Brantley led off the inning with a double and was pinch-run by Myles Straw, who would score the tying run on an RBI-single by Josh Reddick, but the Angels would hold the Astros there. Valdez remained in the game trying to push extra innings and would do so, erasing a leadoff walk.

Kyle Tucker started the top of the tenth on second base and moved to third on a sac fly by Carlos Correa to start the inning before scoring on another sac fly, this time from pinch-hitting Garrett Stubbs to give Houston a 5-4 lead. Valdez, well above his comfortable pitch count, was still on the mound in the bottom of the tenth, and allowed his first run, though unearned, on a leadoff RBI-single to tie the game again at 5-5. He would get one more out before Houston moved to another reliever, bringing in Andre Scrubb.

After an intentional walk to Albert Pujols, Scrubb would walk the bases loaded before getting a popout, then Houston would turn to Blake Taylor. Taylor would come through, getting a big strikeout to send the game to the eleventh. Springer started on second in the top of the inning and would score and put the Astros back in front on a one-out RBI-single by Alex Bregman. In the bottom half, Taylor would get through the inning, giving Houston the win and series victory.

Up Next: The Astros will have a day off tomorrow before picking up a three-game set with the Diamondbacks in Arizona on Tuesday. The opening game of that series will be at 8:10 PM Central. While Arizona is expected to start Madison Bumgarner, the Astros will have to pivot as they had Framber Valdez slated for that start, who made a lengthy appearance out of the bullpen on Sunday.

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