Elias Diaz leads NL past AL, ends All-Star Game skid

July 12 (UPI) — Colorado Rockies catcher Elias Diaz swatted an eighth-inning splitter to left field for a go-ahead two-run homer, leading the National League past the American League in the 2023 MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday in Seattle.

The 3-2 National League win snapped a nine-game winning streak for the American League in the Midsummer Classic.

“It’s just a lot of emotions,” Diaz said on the Fox broadcast. “I was caught up in the moment and overwhelmed with the emotions.

“I never thought I’d be in this position in my career. To be able to contribute to the win and be the MVP is really special.”

Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Yandy Diaz homered to left in the bottom of the second to give the American League a 1-0 edge. The 383-foot homer came off an 0-1 sweeper from Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Mitch Keller.

Miami Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez tied the score with an RBI single in the top of the fourth.

Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette gave the lead back to the American League with an RBI sacrifice fly to right in the bottom of the sixth.

Neither team scored in the seventh. Baltimore Orioles pitcher Felix Bautista walked Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Nick Castellanos to lead off the eighth.

Bautista then watched Diaz step to the plate. The right-handed pitcher issued a 98.3-mph fastball for a strike to start the exchange. He then missed the zone for a ball. Bautista fouled off the next pitch and then took a ball to even the count.

Diaz then turned on a low and inside 86.9-mph splitter, smashing the pitch over the left field wall en route to All-Star Game MVP honors.

Phillies relief pitcher Craig Kimbrell retired Rays shortstop Wander Franco and Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in order to start the bottom of the ninth.

He then got into trouble by issuing walks to Houston Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker and Seattle Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez, putting the potential tying and winning runs on base for the American League.

Kimbrell went on to strike out Cleveland Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez with a 93.2-mph, four-seam fastball, securing the first National League triumph since 2012.

“We had to figure out how we wanted to attack,” Kimbrell told Fox. “That was a lot of fun.”

San Francisco Giants pitcher Camilo Doval earned the victory on the mound. He allowed one hit and issued a strikeout in one inning.

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen also allowed one hit, no runs and issued a strikeout in one inning of work as the National League starter.

American League starter Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees did not allow a hit or run in one inning of work.

Arraez went 2 for 2 with an RBI for the National League. Los Angeles Dodgers star J.D. Martinez went 2 for 2 with a run scored in the win.

No American League hitters reached base more than once.

The MLB regular season will resume Friday. The Phillies will host the Padres in the first game of the second half at 6:05 p.m. EDT in Philadelphia

Authored by Upi via Breitbart July 11th 2023