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Alonso outslugs Vlad Jr. to win Home Run Derby

New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso defeated Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 23-22 in the final round of the 2019 MLB Home Run Derby on Monday at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

Alonso toppled Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana in the opening round and then Atlanta Braves center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. in the semifinals. He’s the second player from the Mets to win the Home Run Derby, joining Darryl Strawberry in 1986.

Alonso went down as the winner in the record book, but Guerrero left as the sentimental favorite for most fans. He had 91 total home runs, the most ever in a single Home Run Derby and more than some teams have hit this season.

Alonso was a deserving winner nonetheless. His ability to spread the ball across the field was more impressive than anything else.

Considering the two finalists are 20 and 24 years old, this may not be the last time Guerrero and Alonso meet in the Derby.

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Batters are hitting home runs at a historic rate in 2019, with this year’s 1.37 homers per game on pace to surpass the record mark (1.26 in 2017), per Baseball Reference.

Pederson opened the Derby with 21 homers, a record in the first round under the new format. The mark didn’t even last 20 minutes before it went down in flames.

Guerrero cleared the fence 29 times against Matt Chapman.

Alonso labored a bit in the first round, edging hometown favorite Santana. A partisan Cleveland crowd let him know what it thought about the result, with some playful booing following his winning homer.

The prevailing thought was that left-handed batters would have an easier time at Progressive Field given the 19-foot wall in left. That didn’t prove true in the first round, though. In addition to Santana’s loss to Alonso, Josh Bell fell to Acuna despite hitting from the left side in a matchup against a righty.

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Categories: Sports