Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Pederson, Guerrero, Acuña, Alonso advance to second round of Home Run Derby

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The second round of the 2019 Home Run Derby has been set at Progressive Field. Joc Pederson defeated Alex Bregman 21-16, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. defeated Matt Chapman 29-13, Ronald Acuña Jr. defeated Josh Bell 25-18, and Pete Alonso edged Carlos Santana 14-13. Guerrero will now face off against Pederson while Acuña will match up with Alonso in the second round.

Pederson kicked things off, mashing 21 taters ahead of Bregman. No one hit 20 homers in the first round of last year’s Derby, so it looked like it might stand as the largest first-round total. Pederson’s longest homer went 452 while averaging 413 overall. Bregman, participating in back-to-back Derbies, managed only 16, one more than last year. His longest homer went 417 feet and averaged only 388 feet.

Guerrero had the most impressive showing, blasting a new Home Run Derby single round record 29 homers. He maxed out at 476 feet while averaging 421.5 feet on his homers. Chapman’s 13 homers only looked small by comparison as it’s normally a respectable total. Chapman hit one 477 feet and averaged 432 feet.

Acuña was no slouch himself, knocking out 25 long balls ahead of Bell, claiming sole possession of the third-most homers hit in a single round. His longest homer went 469 feet while averaging 428 feet. Bell got off to a slow start and never really got on a roll, but still managed 18 which also only seemed small by comparison. Bell’s longest homer went 459 feet while averaging 416 feet.

Alonso edged Santana in what was by far the most disappointing of the four match-ups in the first round. Santana, the hometown hero, couldn’t get any momentum, finishing with 13. It looked like a cakewalk for Alonso, but he could also not find a streak. His final swing of the first round went over the fence. As a result of having hit at least two homers 440-plus feet, he unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time, so he would’ve beaten Santana anyway, but he didn’t need to.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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