Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer was named MVP of the 2016 All-Star Game at Petco Park in San Diego, blasting a solo home run and adding an RBI single in a 2-for-3 performance, helping the American League beat the National League 4-2 on Tuesday night. His solo homer off of Johnny Cueto tied the game up at 1-1 in the first inning and his RBI single in the third inning off of Jose Fernandez boosted the AL’s lead to 4-1. Teammate Salvador Perez smacked a two-run home run off of Cueto in the second as well.
The AL was set behind early when Kris Bryant drilled a solo home run to left field off of starter Chris Sale. The NL was only able to tack on one more run in the fourth inning thanks to Marcell Ozuna‘s RBI single.
The NL’s best chance to tie the game came in the top of the eighth inning when Jonathan Lucroy and Starling Marte singled, and Adam Duvall walked to load the bases with two outs against Miller. Will Harris came in and struck out Aledmys Diaz to put out the fire.
Orioles closer Zach Britton came on in the ninth to seal the 4-2 victory. After allowing a leadoff single to Daniel Murphy, Britton got Paul Goldschmidt to ground into a 1-3 fielder’s choice, then induced a game-ending 5-4-3 double play. Corey Kluber got the win, Cueto got the loss, and Britton got the save. The American League champion will have home field advantage in the 2016 World Series.
The American League has emerged victorious from the All-Star game for the fourth year in a row. The NL won three years in a row from 2010-12 after the AL won every year from 1997-2009, excepting the 2002 tied game at Miller Park.
Notable: NL manager Terry Collins didn’t put any of his players — Noah Syndergaard, Bartolo Colon, Jeurys Familia — into the game.
The Los Angeles Times reports that federal agents have interviewed at least six current and former Angels players as part of their investigation into the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
Among the players questioned: Andrew Heaney, Noé Ramirez, Trevor Cahill, and Matt Harvey. An industry source tells NBC Sports that the interviews by federal agents are part of simultaneous investigations into Skaggs’ death by United States Attorneys in both Texas and California.
There has been no suggestion that the players are under criminal scrutiny or are suspected of using opioids. Rather, they are witnesses to the ongoing investigation and their statements have been sought to shed light on drug use by Skaggs and the procurement of illegal drugs by him and others in and around the club.
Skaggs asphyxiated while under the influence of fentanyl, oxycodone, and alcohol in his Texas hotel room on July 1. This past weekend, ESPN reported that Eric Kay, the Los Angeles Angels’ Director of Communications, knew that Skaggs was an Oxycontin addict, is an addict himself, and purchased opioids for Skaggs and used them with him on multiple occasions. Kay has told DEA agents that, apart from Skaggs, at least five other Angels players are opioid users and that other Angels officials knew of Skaggs’ use. The Angels have denied Kay’s allegations.
In some ways this all resembles what happened in Pittsburgh in the 1980s, when multiple players were interviewed and subsequently called as witnesses in prosecutions that came to be known as the Pittsburgh Drug Trials. There, no baseball players were charged with crimes in connection with what was found to be a cocaine epidemic inside Major League clubhouses, but their presence as witnesses caused the prosecutions to be national news for weeks and months on end.