Orioles and Nationals Have a Busy Break
Before the past couple of years of success in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., the All Star break was more of an undeserved break for two underwhelming franchises.But how quickly things can change when the gears finally start to turn as both the Orioles and Nationals put in plenty of work during the Home Run Derby and All Star Game.
Orioles first baseman Chris Davis and Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper showed off their long ball capabilities at Citi Field on Monday. Davis was a favorite in the derby after hitting 37 homers before making the trip to Queens. After hitting eight in the first round, he broke a callous on his hand and ended his night with 12 home runs. Bryce Harper isn’t new to home run derbies, after making his name known with a 502ft home run in the International Power Showcase as a high schooler in 2009. A switch to the wooden bat hasn’t slowed him down, as he made it to the Home Run Derby finals. But putting eight behind the fences in the final round would not be enough as Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics bettered that in just 14 swings.
The festivities continued to Tuesday. No longer did the O’s and Nationals only send the lonely player to the Mid-summer Classic. This time, five Orioles and two Nationals were invited to the All Star Game.
Three Orioles started on the visiting American League team. Shortstop J.J. Hardy was the only Oriole to knock in a run on a fielder’s choice in the 5th. Chris Davis and Adam Jones also started and went one for three on the evening. Manny Machado came into the game in the 6th inning and made another stellar play at third base when he grabbed an awkward grounder off of Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt and nailing him at first in the 7th. Pitcher Chris Tillman, a substitution for an injured Justin Verlander, did not appear in the game.
Bryce Harper came back for round two after hitting 24 homers not even 24 hours ago. Unfortunately, Harper struggled along with the other National League hitters and finished the night without reaching base. Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann was selected for the game but did not attend due to a lingering neck injury.
The American League went on to win 3-0, and will have home field advantage during the World Series in October.