MLB All-Star Game 2022: American League wins 9th straight Midsummer Classic behind Giancarlo Stanton, Byron Buxton

·4 min read

LOS ANGELES — The American League’s dominance of the All-Star Game rolls on. The AL won the 2022 Midsummer Classic at Dodger Stadium, 3-2, thanks to back-to-back homers by Giancarlo Stanton and Byron Buxton. It's the ninth straight All-Star Game victory for the AL.

The NL took an early lead when Ronald Acuña Jr. and Mookie Betts roped back-to-back hits to open the game. Later in the first, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt smashed a solo home run to add some flair to his MVP-caliber first half. That lead evaporated in one mighty fourth-inning swing from Stanton, a Southern California native. Buxton followed immediately with the go-ahead homer.

The AL pitching staff took it from there. After the starter, Tampa Bay Rays ace Shane McClanahan, had a rough inning, a parade of AL arms dominated, holding the NL hitless for the next six innings before Austin Riley singled in the eighth. Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah set the tone with three strikeouts in the second inning, and Cleveland Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase finished it off with three more in the ninth.

Astros pitcher Framber Valdez got the win, while breakout Dodgers star Tony Gonsolin took the loss — tallying an All-Star Game loss before dropping a regular season decision in 2022.

Stanton, whose homer traveled 457 feet, according to Statcast, was named All-Star Game MVP. Stanton told the broadcast he grew up going to games in left field near where his homer landed.

“I can’t really explain how special this is," Stanton said after the game. "It’s hard to put into words that this is reality right now. It’s really cool. I’m soaking it all in.”

Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins is greeted is greeted in the dugout after hitting a solo home in the fourth inning during the MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins is greeted is greeted in the dugout after hitting a solo home in the fourth inning during the MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Kershaw vs. Ohtani goes off script

The top of the first pitted Dodger legend Clayton Kershaw against Shohei Ohtani. Both of them, in a way, called their shots. Kershaw said he would be throwing as hard as he could … and that the pitches would go 91 mph. Ohtani, just before walking to the plate, said he would be swinging at the first pitch. Both proved true! Ohtani lined Kershaw’s opening offering into center field for a base hit.

It’s what came next that no one saw coming. Kershaw picked Ohtani off first base.

Highlights of the 2022 MLB All-Star Game

The most thrilling highlight came courtesy of Andres Gimenez. Cleveland’s second baseman stepped into the AL’s starting lineup after Jose Altuve dropped out of the game. In the midst of that tough first inning for McClanahan, Gimenez started a jaw-dropping double play with a behind-the-back flip to White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson. Mookie Betts was so impressed he stopped to fist bump Gimenez.

A big part of that dominant AL pitching performance was Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah, who added a degree of difficulty by talking to the FOX broadcast while he was on the mound. The freewheeling Manoah at one point asked color commentator John Smoltz what to throw next.

Not to be outdone, the AL East rival Yankees got in on the mic’d up action. Batterymates Nestor Cortes and Jose Trevino let fans listen in as they worked an inning together, and Cortes’ quirky approach to pitching came through.

The game opened with a Denzel Washington-led tribute to Jackie Robinson, and Mookie Betts then led the crowd in wishing Rachel Robinson a happy 100th birthday.