Sports

Astros Perform Well in AL's Seventh Straight All-Star Win

Justin Verlander cruised through the first inning in Tuesday's All-Star game with a pair of strikeouts, mostly on fastballs.
Justin Verlander cruised through the first inning in Tuesday's All-Star game with a pair of strikeouts, mostly on fastballs. Photo by Jack Gorman
In a season where balls are flying out of ballparks at record pace and much of the discussion leading up to baseball's midsummer classic were about whether or not those balls are "juiced," the 90th annual All-Star game at Progressive Field in Cleveland felt a bit like a throwback.

The American League won for the seventh straight time 4-3 over the National League, earning the AL  representative in the World Series home field advantage.

Pitching dominated with only three hits and a walk for the NL in six innings. In total, AL pitchers amassed 16 strikeouts including a pair from starter Justin Verlander, who averaged 96 mph on his fastball and breezed through the first inning in 14 pitches.

The first run on the board came courtesy of a pair of Astros. Michael Brantley's opposite field double in the second inning drove in teammate Alex Bregman, who had singled. Brantley went 1-1 with a double and an RBI while Bregman went 1-2 with a single and a run scored. George Springer also went 1-2 with a single.

Brantley was welcomed back to Cleveland with long ovations from the crowd he played for over 10 previous seasons before coming to Houston.

Pitchers Gerrit Cole and Ryan Pressly didn't see any action in the game Tuesday night, which was briskly paced and finished in under three hours.

The Astros are back for the figurative second half of the season on Thursday in Arlington with a four-game set against the in-state rival Rangers.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke