News

Cespedes defends Home Run Derby title in Minnesota rain

Cespedes defends Home Run Derby title in Minnesota rain

HOME RUN:Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics hoists the championship trophy after winning the 2014 Home Run Derby at Target Field in Minneapolis, July 14. Photo: Reuters/Jesse Johnson/USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) – Oakland Athletics slugger Yoenis Cespedes brushed off the Minneapolis rain and worked his way through a revamped format to become only the second player to successfully defend baseball’s Home Run Derby title on Monday.

In the prelude to Tuesday’s All Star game, Cuban Cespedes came out top as baseball’s best long-ball hitters put on a display of strength, hand-eye coordination and timing after an hour-long rain delay at Target Field.

Only Seattle’s Ken Griffey Junior (1998-99) had previously won back-to-back titles in the contest, which has kicked off the All Star festivities since the mid 1980s.

This year’s event showcased a new format with five players each from the American and National Leagues competing in the opening round and competitors advancing to head-to-head matchups within their respective league until the final. Cespedes narrowly escaped the first round after he needed a tiebreaker swing-off to beat Oakland team mate Josh Donaldson.

From there, he caught fire as he smashed seven home runs to eliminate Toronto’s Jose Bautista and advance to the final, where he added nine more blasts to overpower Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds.

Bautista was the star of the first round where he powered 10 home runs.

This year’s exhibition included some fresh faces, including Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and Miami’s young standout, Giancarlo Stanton, who was one of the favorites coming into the showcase.

Stanton reached the semi-final round but lost his form and was defeated by Frazier 1-0.

Puig, the flashy 23-year-old Cuban, could not deliver his usual excitement and failed to record a home run as he made a first-round exit.

Colorado’s Justin Morneau was also cast off in the opening round, but not before he received a rousing round of applause from the fans in Minnesota, where he played from 2003 to 2013.

Earlier in the day, All Star Game managers Mike Matheny (National League) and John Farrell (American League) named their starting lineups for the game.

Seattle’s Felix Hernandez and St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright were named as starting pitchers.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Sept. 19

Fresh
elvis2

Alook back at the Hollywood headlines that made history.

in Local Sports

US women beat Mexico 4-0 in final warmup

Fresh
Seattle Reign FC goalie Hope Solo waves to fans after an NWSL soccer game against the Sky Blue FC Saturday, June 28, 2014, in Seattle. Solo was arrested at a suburban Seattle home on suspicion of assaulting her sister and 17-year-old nephew a week ago, then pleaded not guilty and was released without bail after a court appearance Monday, June 23. She was eligible to play in Saturday's match, but did not start.

U.S. women's soccer team beats Mexico 4-0 in exhibition game

in Local Sports

Morrison’s HR in 9th puts Mariners past Angels 3-1

Fresh
This is a 2014 photo of outfielder Logan Morrison of the Seattle Mariners baseball team. This image reflects the Mariners active roster as of Thursday,

The Mariners waited until the 9th, but beat the Angels Thursday night to pull within one game of Oakland for the 2nd AL Wild Card spot

in Sports

Falcons romp to 56-14 win over hapless Buccaneers

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws during warmups before an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville, Fla., Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014.

Atlanta built a stunning 56-0 lead. Tampa Bay scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to avoid the worst loss in franchise history.

in Local Sports

Soccer: Unbeaten Vikings win 3-0 at Central Washington

wwu western washington university congrats vikes vikings from kpug

No.6 WWU scores three times in first 24 minutes in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference opener.