Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cleveland's Cory Kluber Goes Distance in 2-0 Tribe Win; Jedd Gyorko Powers Padres to 12-1 Victory over Cardinals

Players of the Day for Wednesday, July 30, 2014

American League

Kluber: 3-hitter
Keeping hopes alive in Cleveland, the Indians got to within one game of .500 (53-54), as Cory Kluber out-dueled Seattle's Felix Hernandez in a 2-0 Tribe victory.

Kluber hurled his second complete game of the season and first shutout of his major league career, which officially began in 2012, when he was 2-5 as a starter for the Indians. Kluber was 11-5 in 2013.

Allowing just three hits, Kluber twirled a gem, fanning eight without issuing a walk. He needed only 85 pitches to go the distance for his 11th win against six losses. 69 of his pitches went for strikes and he was consistently ahead of batters, throwing first-pitch strikes to 22 of the 28 batters he faced. Cleveland turned two double plays behind him, as Kluber faced just one batter over the minimum.

Yan Gomes drove in the only runs of the game with a double in the fifth inning.

The Indians will look to take two of three from the visiting Mariners when the teams meet for the rubber game of the series at 7:05 pm EDT at Progressive Field.

National League

Jedd Gyorko
It's a typical season in San Diego, with the Padres languishing well off the pace in the division, currently 12 1/2 games behind the Dodgers and little hope for the remainder of the schedule.

However, the Padres are staring at an unusual circumstance after trashing the Cardinals, 12-1, in game two of their three-game series. Another win would give them a sweep of the perennially-contentious Cards.

After taking game one by a 3-1 score, Wednesday's contest became a farce, when the Padres plated eight runs in the seventh inning, aided by Jedd Gyorko's bases-loaded triple, which, after a solo homer in the third inning, gave him four RBI on the night. The second-year player out of the University of West Virginia added a single for three hits in five at bats with a pair of runs.

Gyorko, a regular at second base, knocked 23 homers as a rookie last season for the Padres, but has spent a good portion of this season in the minors. In 59 games with San Diego in 2014, he's batting just .181, with six homers and 29 RBI.

The Pardes will be seeking the sweep on Thursday afternoon. Game time is 12:40 PDT at Petco Park.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Texas Loses to Yankees, 12-11, Despite JC Arencibia's 7 RBI; Matt kemp Homers Twice in Dodger Win over Braves

Arencibia: 7 RBI
Players of the Day for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

American League

Doing just about everything he could to secure a win for the Texas Rangers, JP Arencibia went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two homers - a solo blast and a grand slam - drive in seven runs and scored twice, but his outstanding effort was not enough to prevent the Rangers from losing the middle game of their three-game home set with the Yankees, 12-11.

Texas took a 4-1 lead into the sixth inning, but, after the Yankees plated seven batsmen in the top of the inning, the Rangers played catch-up the rest of the way. Despite scoring four runs in the seventh, another run in the eighth, two in the bottom of the ninth, and out-hitting the Yankees, 15-12, the Rangers could not produce even the tying run, relegating them to the basement of the AL West, 25 1/2 games out.

Winning kept the Yankees in the hunt in the East, 4 1/2 games behind the Orioles. Toronto is in second place in the division, 2 1/2 out.
Matt Kemp

The rubber game of the series gets underway at 8:05 pm EDT in Texas.

National League

Winners of four straight, the LA Dodgers have wrested control of the NL West.

Opening a three-game series in Atlanta Tuesday, Matt Kemp belted a pair of two-run homers for an 8-4 LA victory, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead in the second and sealing the win with his seventh-inning shot, which made the score 7-4.

Kemp added a single to go 3-for-4, upping his average to .282. The homers were his ninth and 10th; his RBI total stands at nine.

The win gave the Dodgers more breathing room in the division, as the Giants lost their sixth straight, falling to Pittsburgh, 3-1, and three games off the pace.

Game two of the series is slated for 7:10 pm PDT at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Vance Worley's CG Powers Pirates over Giants, 5-0; Melky Cabrera Stars as Blue Jays Club Red Sox

Players of the Day for Monday, July 28, 2014

American League

Cabrera: 2HR 5RBI
R.A. Dickey (9-10) held the Red Sox to one run on three hits over seven innings while his Toronto teammates piled on Boston starter, Clay Buchholz and reliever Felix Doubront for a 14-1 Blue Jay win.

The main protagonist for Toronto was Melky Cabrera, who got the Jays started early, with a two-run homer in the first inning, then followed up with a three-run blast in the 6th off Doubront, amidst of a nine-run outburst which saw 14 Toronto players parade to the plate.

Cabrera also walked in the seventh and came around to score Toronto's final run eventually on a wild pitch, finishing his night at 2.for-5 with five RBI and three runs. He's batting .313 (7th in AL) with 14 homers and 58 RBI.

Toronto's win got them to within 2 1/2 games of the idle Orioles in the AL East. Last place Boston fell 11 games off the pace.

Game two of the series starts at 7:10 pm EDT at Fenway Park.

National League

Worley: 4-hit SO
Sending the Giants to their fifth straight loss, Vance Worley twirled a complete game shutout in a 5-0 Pirates win to open a three-game series in San Francisco.

Worley (4-1) needed just 100 pitches to complete the 4-hitter, getting help from his infield, which turned two double plays. He faced 29 batters, just two over the minimum, throwing 71 strikes, fanning three and issuing one walk.

Called up from Indianapolis of the AAA International League earlier this year, Worley has been a welcome addition to the rotation. In seven starts and one relief appearance he's compiled a 2.54 ERA. The win was his first major league shutout and second complete game. He had a complete game win in 2011 when he went 11-3 with the Phillies.

The Pirates gained to within two games of Milwaukee in the Central, as the Brewers fell, 2-1, to Tampa Bay. The Giants dropped to two games behind idle LA in the West.

Game two of the series is Tuesday, at 7:15 PDT.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Josh Harrison Leads Pirates with Four Hits; Carlos Sanata Keeps Cleveland Hopes Alive

Players of the Day for Sunday, July 27, 2013

American League

Santana: 2HR
Losers of three straight to the Royals and in danger of falling out of third place in the AL Central, the Cleveland Indians muscled up and avoided the sweep with a 10-3 victory Sunday in Kansas City.

Led by Carlos Santana, the Indians hammered out 15 hits against five Royals' pitchers. Santana continued to swing the bat at a orrid pace, belting a pair of home runs and driving in four. He added a single to go 3-for-3, extending his hitting streak to seven games.

Over that span, Santana has been on fire, going 15-for-27, with six homers and 10 RBI.

With the Tigers losing Sunday to the Angles, 2-1, the Indians find themselves 6 1/2 games back of the division leaders, with KC anchored in between, five out.

Josh Harrison
National League

Highlighting a 16-hit barrage, Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison banged out four hits in six at-bats, including a solo home run, a double and a pair of singles, dring in two and scoring twice.

Batting in his customary leadoff position, Harrison tormented Colorado pitchers, stealing a pair of bases in the 7-5 Pirate win.

The victory kept the Pirates from being swept in the three-game series at Colorado and kept them in third place in the NC Central, three games behind division-leading Milwaukee, 2-0 losers to the Mets.

St. Louis won, 1-0, over the Cubs, as Adam Wianwright became the major league's first 13-game winner. The Cardinals are a solid second in the division, two games behind the Brewers.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Chris Sale Dominates Twins in 7-0 ChiSox Win; Clayton Kershaw's 2-Hitter Puts Dodgers in First Place

Players of the Day for Saturday, July 26, 2014

American League

Chris Sale of the White Sox is having himself a spectacular season as a starter for Chicago.

Chris Sale: 10-1
On Saturday, Sale fanned 12 while hurling eight scoreless innings as the White Sox downed the Twins, 7-0.

A 6'6" lanky lefty, Sale allowed five hits and two walks, but struck out a batter in every inning, including a stretch from the fifth through seventh innings in which he fanned six of seven batters he faced, getting five of them swinging. He also struck out leadoff hitter, Danny Santana, three times and whiffed three other Minnesota victims twice each.

Daniel Webb pitched the ninth in the non-save situation, preserving the win and the blanking.

It was Sale's 10th win against just one loss. He threw 112 pitches, 79 of them for strikes. Sale's 1.88 ERA leads the American League, as does his 0.86 WHIP. He has 120 strikeouts in 16 starts, but trails many of the leaders in that department due to the fact that he missed over a month between mid-April and mid-May.

The fourth-place Sox currently trail the Tigers by eight games in the AL Central, but have taken three straight at Target field and will be looking for a four-game sweep of the Twins when the two teams wrap up the series at 2:10 pm EDT on Sunday.

National League

Kershaw: 12-2
It was a day of pitching superlatives, but none were better than LA's Clayton Kershaw, whose two-hit, complete game shutout gave the Dodgers a half game lead in the NL West over the Giants in a 5-0 victory against their in-state rivals.

Gregor Blanco singled off Kershaw with one out in the opening frame, but the Giants didn't get another hit until Mike Morse singled with two down in the seventh. Kershaw struck out seven and issued just two walks, throwing 78 of 113 pitches for strikes and getting ahead of 21 of the 30 batters he faced, with first pitch strikes.

Improving to 12-2, Kershaw leads the National League with a 1.76 ERA, and is tied with the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright with 12 wins, despite having started four fewer times than his St. Louis rival.

He and the Giants' Madison Bumgarner are tied for fifth in strikeouts with 141, but Kershaw is closing in on league-leader, Stephen Strasberg, who has 163.

The Dodgers, who have taken the first two games of the series in San Francisco, will be looking for the sweep when the series concludes Sunday night at 8:00 pm EDT. The game will be telecast nationally by ESPN.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Jose Bautista's Two Homers Wasted as Yankees Topple Blue Jays; Yasiel Puig Legs Out Three Triples in Dodger Victory

Players of the Day for Friday, July 25, 2014

American League

Bautista: 2HR, 4RBI
Jose Bautista socked two homers - a three-run shot in the first inning and a solo job in the third - both off Yankee starter, Hiroki Kuroda - doubled later and accounted for all of Toronto's scoring, in a 6-4 loss at Yankee Stadium.

After the second Bautista home run, Kuroda (7-6) settled down, lasting 5 2/3rds innings for the win, moving the Yankees into sole possession of second place in the AL East, three games off the pace being set by the Baltimore Orioles (2-1 winners at Seattle). Toronto fell to four games out.

The pair of shots gave Bautista 20 homers on the year, marking the fifth straight season he's had at least 20 home runs. The Toronto slugger also has 60 RBI and is batting .297.

The Blue Jays will try to even the series at a game apiece, Saturday at 1:05 pm EDT.

National League

Puig: 3 Triples
The Dodgers opened their three-game series at San Francisco with a resounding, 8-1, triumph, clawing to within half a game of the NL West-leading Giants.

Yasiel Puig tied a 113-year-old franchise record with three triples and the team tied a franchise mark with five triples in the game, the most by a Dodger team since 1921.

Puig's extreme night of cardio work matched the effort of Jimmy Sheckard, a left fielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1901. Puig, playing his first game this season as the LA center fielder, added a double, drove in two runs and scored a pair.

Puig has eight triples on the season, is batting.315 with 12 home runs and 54 RBI.

Game two of the series is slated for a 6:05 pm PDT start on Saturday.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Cole Hamels Helps Phillies Avoid Sweep; Juan Francisco Powers Toronto to 8-0 Win over Boston

Players of the Day for Thursday, July 24, 2014

American League

Juan Francisco
Tight is the AL East race. Toronto continues to put pressure on the Baltimore Orioles. With the O's Yankees and Blue Jays all posting wins on Thursday, Toronto remained tied for second with the Yankees, three games behind the front-running Orioles.

The Blue Jays hammered visiting Boston, 8-0, on 14 hits, six of which went for extra bases, two of those from Juan Francisco, who tripled, socked a two-run, third inning homer and added a single for a 3-for-4 day at the plate with four RBI, scoring twice.

The home run was Francisco's 15th of the season, to go with 39 RBI and a .242 average.
Cole Hamels

Toronto took the series, three games to one.

National League

Thanks to Cole Hamels, the Phillies avoided being swept at home by the Giants, ending their four game series on the wrong side of a 3-1 advantage for San Francisco.

Hamels allowed five hits and one earned run in eight solid innings to even his record at 5-5 in Philly's 2-1 victory. He struck out 10 and issued just one walk. Jonathan Papelbon came on in the ninth to earn his 24th save.

Around the plate all day, Hamels threw 90 of 116 pitches for strikes. He's been the victim of poor run support by his teammates, sporting a solid 2.72 ERA while the Phillies have sunk into last place in the NL East, 12 1/2 games out.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mark Reynolds Leads Brewers to Sweep of Reds; A's Remain Hot as Yoenis Cespedes Homers Twice

Players of the Day for Wednesday, July 23, 2014

American League

Cespedes: 2HR, 5RBI
The Oakland A's just keep rolling along, now two games ahead of the Angels in the torrid AL West, after knocking off Houston on Wednesday, 9-7. At 62-38, the A's have the best record in the majors, followed closely by those pesky Angels (60-40).

Yoenis Cespedes, back-to-back champion in the all-star home run derby, proved why he is the reigning strongman in the big leagues, belting two shots in the win - a three-run homer in the second inning and a two-run blast in the fourth, which put the A's up 7-0, prior to their pitching staff nearly giving the game away allowing seven runs over the final five innings, including a five-run Houston eighth.

Cespedes finished 2-for-5, with five RBI. He has 16 homers and 61 RBI on the season.

Reynolds: 2HR, 3RBI
The series tied at a game apiece, the teams will settle up Thursday at 6:35 pm PDT at the Coliseum in Oakland.

National League

Mark Reynolds touched off a pair of homers and added a single in four at-bats as the Brewers dropped the Reds, 5-1, as Milwaukee swept visiting Cincinnati, three straight.

Reynolds broke open a close game in the sixth inning with a two-run job, adding a solo shot in the eighth, giving him three RBI on the night.

The win pushed their lead in the Central to 2 1/2 games over the Cardinals, losers of three straight, and Pittsburgh, who has tied St. Louis for second with two consecutive wins over the Dodgers.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford Lead Giants to 1st Place; Mike Moustakas Powers Royals over ChiSox

Players of the Day for Tuesday, July 22, 2014

American League
Moustakas: 2HR

Kansas City evened its series at Chicago at a game apiece, banging out 14 hits to top the White Sox, 7-1.

The two teams are struggling to remain relevant in the AL Central. For now, the Royals have the upper hand, trailing division-leading Detroit by seven games. The White Sox fell to nine games off the pace.

Third baseman Mike Moustakas did his best to hide the fact that he's batting under .200 (.198), going 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs - his 11th and 12th of the season - driving in three runs. Moustakas started the Royals' scoring with a solo shot in the second and finished it off with a two-run dinger in the eighth.

The Royals and White Sox square off Wednesday afternoon in the rubber game of the series at 2:10 pm EDT at Cellular Field in Chicago.

National League

Posey: hot bat
Crawford: 4RBI
Buster Posey is getting into a groove, and the San Francisco Giants are enjoying the top spot in the NL West because of it.

With the Dodgers were losing at Pittsburgh, 12-7, the Giants took a one-game lead in the division, taking their second straight in Philadelphia with a 9-6 victory over the Phillies in 14 innings.

Posey tied the game at 5-all with a solo homer in the ninth inning, and scored the go-ahead run after doubling with one out and coming home to score on Brandon Crawford's bases-loaded double later in the frame.

Posey was 4-for-7 with a pair of doubles, a single and the solo homer - his 12th - scoring twice and driving in a run. Posey's gone 11-for-28 with 11 RBI his last six games. He's at .286 for the season.

Crawford went 2-for-6 with four RBI, giving him 44 on the year.

The Giants will be looking for their third straight when they take on the Phillies Wednesday night at 7:00 pm EDT in the third leg of their four-game series.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Adam Jones Buries Angels in O's Win; Ian Desmond 5-for-5 for Nationals

Players of the Day for Monday, July 21, 2014

American League

Jones: 2HR, 4RBI
Adam Jones is having a solid season, belting two more homers on Monday to give the Orioles' center fielder 19 on the year, accounting for all of Baltimore's runs in their 4-2 victory over the Angels.

Jones cracked a two-run shot in the opening frame and broke a 2-2 tie with another two-run bomb in the sixth, chasing Angels' starter Matt Shoemaker, who took the loss.

The win boosted the Orioles lead to four games in the East, as the Yankees and Blue Jays each lost and remained tied for second.

Batting .300 with 19 homers and 63 RBI, Jones is among AL leaders and makes the O's a threat for October baseball.

Game two of the three-game series commences Tuesday at 10:05 pm PDT.

National League

Desmond: 5-for-5
With Atlanta losing 3-1 in 10 innings to Miami, Washington took a tenuous one-game lead in the NL East Monday with a 7-3 win at Colorado, losers of six striaght and dead last, 15 games out in the NL West.

While the Nats cranked out a cumulative 13 hits, much of the damage at the plate was done by Ian Desmond, who went 5-for-5 with four singles and a two-run homer, giving him 62 RBI on the season.

Desmond also scored three times in his five at-bats.

The Nationals will try to send the Rockies to their seventh straight defeat when game two of the three-game series begins Tuesday at 8:40 pm EDT.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Neil Walker Homers as Pirates Sweep Rockies; Houston's Matt Dominguez Powers Astros

Players of the Day for Sunday, July 20, 2014

Matt Dominguez
American League

No matter which division or league the Houston Astros find themselves in, the result is usually the same: an under-.500 squad with hopes for "next season."

It's the same story for this year's version of the Astros, to a degree. At 41-58 they're a solid 20 1/2 games behind the A's in the West, but, they're still the best major league team in Texas, as the Rangers have managed to fall into last place, at 39-59, in the same division.

What has some Houstonians hopeful is the emergence of 24-year-old third baseman Matt Dominguez, who is following up a successful 2013 campaign with a solid season thus far in 2014 with 12 homes and 43 RBI.

In Sunday's 11-7 victory over the White Sox, Dominguez collected three hits in five at-bats, including a run-scoring single in the third inning, a two-run homer in the fifth and a double in the seventh which brought in another run, giving him four RBI for the game.

The White Sox took two of three in the weekend series, and remain home to start a three-game set with the Royals on Monday. After a day off Monday, the Astros head to Oakland for three.
Neil Walker

National League

Pittsburgh completed its sweep of the visiting Rockies Sunday afternoon with a 5-3 win, moving the Pirates to within 1 1/2 games of the NL Central co-leaders, St. Louis and Milwaukee.

After giving up three runs in the first two frames, Pirate starter Jeff Locke locked down the Rockies for the remainder of his six innings, then turned the ball over the Pittsburgh's capable bullpen, which blanked Colorado through the seventh, eighth and ninth.

Meanwhile, the Pirate bats got busy, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the second, a solo score in the sixth and two more in the seventh, the final score coming off the bat of Neil Walker, his 14th, a solo shot off reliever Matt Belisle. Walker ended up 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and the lone RBI, his 45th on the year.

The Pirates remain home to host the Dodgers, while the Rockies go back to Denver for a series with the Nats. Both series begin Monday and will last three games.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Paul Goldschmidt, Adam Jones Homers Lead D'Backs, Orioles to Victories

Players of the Day for Saturday, July 19, 2014

American League

Jones 2-5, 5 RBI
Oakland took the first game of their three-game set in Baltimore by a 5-4 tally Friday night, but it didn't take long for the Orioles to impress upon the AL West leaders that they weren't going to take it lying down.

Adam Jones cracked a three-run homer off A's starter, Jason Hammel, and J.J. Hardy followed with a solo shot for a 4-0 lead in an eventual, 8-4, Baltimore victory.

Jones added a two run single in the fourth, driving home Nick Markakis and Steve Pearce. Markakis had four hits on the night, Pearce went 3-for-4, while Jones was 2-for-5 with five RBI, two stolen bases and two runs. His homer was his 17th of the season.

The rubber game of the series is scheduled for 4:05 pm ET Sunday at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

National League

Paul Goldschmidt
After winning the series opener, 5-4, on Friday, the Arizona Diamondbacks out-slugged the visiting Chicago Cubs, 9-3, Saturday, led by all-star first baseman, Paul Goldschmidt.

Chicago had a 3-1 lead after four innings, but from the fifth on, it was literally, all Arizona. Miguel Montero doubled in three runs in the fifth and then Goldschmidt took over, doubling in a run in the sixth and belting his 18th homer in the eight to drive in another pair of runs.

Goldschmidt finished 3-for-3, with three runs and three RBI. His 65 RBI on the season have him tied with Miami's Giancarlo Stanton for the RBI lead in the NL.

Arizona will be looking for the sweep on Sunday. Game time is 4:10 pm ET.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Yu Darvish Fans 12 in Texas Victory; Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel Notches 30th Save

Players of the Day for Friday, July 18, 2014

American League

Darvish Ks 12
Swinging some heavy bats, the Toronto Blue Jays just couldn't seem to get around on the Rangers' Yu Darvish, who fanned 12 in 6 2/3 innings for his ninth win against five losses, as Texas topped the Blue Jays, 5-1, in Toronto.

Texas scord two runs in the fifth and put up a three-spot in the seventh as Darvish was cruising through the Toronto lineup, which didn't get to him until the bottom of the seventh, when they scored their only run of the game. The Texas bullpen mopped up, taking the first of the three-game series, but the win won't help the Rangers much, as they trail Oakland in the West by 21 games.

Kimbrel: 30 Saves
Toronto fell into a tie for second with the NY Yankees in the East, four games behind division-leading Baltimore.

National League

Atlanta opened the second half of the season in strong fashion, taking over sole possession of first place in the East with a 6-4 win over the visiting Phillies.

With the Nationals dropping a 4-2 decision to Milwaukee, the Braves have a one-game lead over Washington with the Mets seven back and Miami 8 1/2 out.

Closer Craig Kimbrel earned his 30th save, giving him the major league lead. The Cardinals' Trevor Rosenthal has 29. Fernando Rodney of Seattle leads the AL with 27.

Kimbrel needed just 13 pitches to get through a perfect ninth inning, fanning two of the three batters he faced.

Game two of the three-game series starts Saturday at 7:10 pm ET.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

American League Wins All-Star Game Again, 5-3; Mike Trout MVP

Player of the Day for July 15, 2014

2014 MLB All Star Game

The American League continued its decades-long dominance over their Nation League rivals, winning the 2014 All Star game by a 5-3 score, ensuring the the AL entrant in the World Series will have home field advantage.

Trout, MVP
The AL has won 14 of the last 18 mid-summer classics, losing three straight from 2010-2012, but now having won the last two. The 2002 exhibition ended in a 7-7 tie at Milwaukee's Miller Park.

St. Louis pitchers, Adam Wainwright and reliever Pat Nesheck were tagged for all five runs, as AL hitters savaged starter Wainwright for three first inning scores, including a double by leadoff hitter Derek Jeter, a run-scoring triple by game MVP Mike Trout of the LA Angels, and a two-run homer by Detroit's Miguel Cabrera.

The National Leaguers evened the score at 3-3 with two runs in the second inning and one more in the fourth. Milwaukee's Jonathan Lucroy doubled in both innings, driving in a run in each.

But the NL could not maintain their momentum as the second Cardinal hurler to go to the mound, Pat Nesheck allowed a pair of one-out singles by Derek Norris and Alexi Ramirez and a double by Trout to give the AL a 4-3 lead. Jose Altuve delivered a sac fly scoring Ramirez from third to complete the scoring.

Trout finished 2-for-3, with a double, triple, two RBI and a run scored. Nesheck took the loss; Detroit's Max Scherzer took the victory, giving up a double in the fifth to Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki, but holding the NL scoreless.

Minnesota's Glen Perkins pitched a perfect nine-pitch ninth for the save.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes Captures Second Straight Home Run Derby

Player of the Day for July 14, 2014

All-Star Home Run Derby

new Sultan of Swing
Oakland A's Yoenis Cespedes became the first back-to-back winner of the Home Run Derby since Ken Griffey Jr. turned the trick in 1998-99, blasting Cincinnati Reds’ Todd Frazier in the finals, 9-1.

Cespedes broke onto the power scene last season, winning the debry in his first attempt with 32 total homers. This season, his total was 30, despite the first round being cut down to seven "outs" from the customary 10.

Other players competing in the derby this year were Miami's Giancarlo Stanto, Toronto's Jose Bautista (AL Captain), Colorado's Todd Tulowitsky (NL Captain), Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers, and Cespedes' teammate, Josh Donaldson, whom Cespedes beat in a "swing off" after the pair each had three homers in the opening round.

The A's currently lead the AL West, Cespedes a major factor of their success, with 14 homers and 56 RBI.