Everyone digs the longball.
Major League Baseball’s 2022 Home Run Derby is Monday night in Los Angeles on the eve of the 92nd All-Star Game.
Seattle Mariners slugger Julio Rodriguez, a 21-year-old rookie, is having a coming out party, hitting 32 homers in the first round and 31 in the second to upset two-time defending champion Pete Alonso of the Mets.
In a first-round shocker, 42-year-old Albert Pujols beat top-seeded Kyle Schwarber in a tiebreaker, moving onto the semifinals to face Juan Soto.
ALL-STAR GAME: Clayton Kershaw will get the start at Dodger Stadium
MLB SUPERLATIVES: Best and worst from the first half
Keep it here throughout the night for live coverage of the Home Run Derby:
Julio Rodriguez (Mariners) vs. Juan Soto (Nationals)
The final round features two of baseball’s brightest young talents in the 21-year-old Rodriguez and 23-year-old Soto.
No. 6 Julio Rodriguez (Mariners) defeats No. 2 Pete Alonso (Mets)
- Rodriguez – 31 HR – longest 450 feet : The 21-year-old rookie does it again, bashing 31 homers to put some serious pressure on Alonso, the two-time defending champion
- Alonso – 24 HR – longest 463 feet: Down goes the champ! Alonso got unlucky to hit a few off the left-field wall, but he just couldn’t string homers together and it would have taken a near-perfect round to best Rodriguez.
No. 4 Juan Soto (Nationals) defeats No. 8 Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
- Pujols – 15 HR – longest 419 feet: The 42-year-old certainly had something left in the tank and put together a strong round that may push Soto to the brink.
- Soto – 16 HR – longest 459 feet: Soto needed most of his bonus time but powers past Pujols, narrative be damned.
No. 8 Albert Pujols (Cardinals) defeats No. 1 Kyle Schwarber (Phillies)
- Pujols – 13 HR – longest 434 feet: In his final Home Run Derby, the 42-year-old was showered with love from the fans and fellow players, who all came to embrace him before bonus time.
- Schwarber – 13 HR – longest 470 feet: The 2018 runner-up struggled throughout his round and couldn’t get the winner over the fence in his minute of bonus time. We’ll have a tiebreaker!
- PUJOLS WINS TIEBREAKER, 20–19 : Pujols found a groove in the one-minute extra round while Schwarber warmed up too late. What an upset!
No. 4. Juan Soto (Nationals) defeats No. 5 Jose Ramirez (Guardians)
- Ramirez – 17 HR – longest 421 feet: Batting right-handed, Cleveland’s star consistently drilled balls into the left field bleachers but that’s probably not going to be enough to hold off Soto.
- Soto – 18 HR – longest 482 feet: Made it look easy and didn’t even need his full minute of bonus time, walking it off with a second left in regulation.
No. 2 Pete Alonso (Mets) defeats No. 7 Ronald Acuña Jr. (Braves)
- Acuna – 19 HR – longest 472 feet: Couldn’t find his footing early and only hit one homer over 440 feet to earn 30 seconds of bonus time. Was clearly running out of gas at the end, but a great effort from a guy who tore his ACL days before last year’s All-Star Game.
- Alonso – 20 HR – longest 480 feet : It didn’t look great for Alonso with about a minute left, but as he does, got hot when it mattered and walked it off about halfway into his minute of bonus time.
No. 6 Julio Rodriguez (Mariners) defeats No. 3. Corey Seager (Rangers)
- Rodriguez – 32 HR – longest 463 feet: The 21-year-old rookie was locked in and hit 14 home runs before taking a break about halfway through the three-minute round. He got a pep talk from Mookie Betts before bonus time and added seven more in the extra minute.
- Seager – 24 HR – longest 451 feet: With his dad on the mound, the former Dodger peppered the right field stands with homers and got hot late in the round, but didn’t have enough to catch Rodriguez. The fans loved it though
Pete Alonso shows off derby bat
The “Polar Bear” is carrying some special lumber.
Alonso brings back pitcher Dave Jauss
Last year, the two-time defending champion had then-Mets bench coach Dave Jauss as his pitcher for the Home Run Derby. Despite Jauss now working as an advisor in the Nationals organization, he’s going to throw to Alonso on Monday in Los Angeles.