Scooter Gennett hits two-run homer in bottom of the ninth to send this one to extra innings

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We entered the bottom of the ninth with the American League poised to win this thing. Edwin Diaz of the Mariners was on the hill, three outs away from a save. He didn’t save it.

After striking out Trevor Story Diaz walked J.T. Realmuto and then gave up a homer to Scooter Gennett of the Reds. This one went out to right field for a change. The home run broke a record: it was the seventh in the All-Star Game, breaking the record set back in 1971. Diaz retired Euenio Suarez and Jesus Aguilar after that, and on we go to extra innings.

Jean Segura has to be mad at his teammate for taking away his All-Star Game MVP, right? Everyone else has to be mad that they’re playing extra innings in an exhibition game. But this is the life they have chosen, so on we go into the night.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.