Reds' Todd Frazier wins All-Star Derby in home park
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 14, 2015 02:29 PM
National League's Todd Frazier, of the Cincinnati Reds, holds the trophy after winning the MLB All-Star baseball Home Run Derby, Monday, July 13, 2015, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
AP Sports Writer
CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati third baseman Todd Frazier won the Home Run Derby on Monday, becoming only the second player to do so on his home field in the traditional lead-up event to the All-Star game.
Frazier topped Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Joc Pederson 15-14 with another late surge and one last perfectly timed swing.
"No pressure here with these fans," he said, after accepting the crossed-bats trophy to one more standing ovation at Great American Ball Park.
Frazier joined the Chicago Cubs' Ryne Sandberg for home-field homer titles; the Hall of Fame second baseman did it at Wrigley Field in 1990.
After finishing second last year in Minneapolis, this one was as sweet as that winning swing.
"That pushed me a lot," Frazier said. "I wanted to get back here. I'd been working in the offseason a little bit. I'm just glad it was in Cincinnati and they could enjoy it with me."
Pederson was trying to become the first rookie since Wally Joyner in 1986 to win or share the title. He reached the final round by knocking off Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols, who provided a blast after making the All-Star team for the first time in five years.
"I'm happy for Todd, especially being able to do it in front of his fans," Pujols said. "It's his night. He deserves it. I just hope the fans were pleased and happy with the performance every single guy did. The right guy won, too."
Frazier topped Prince Fielder and Josh Donaldson to reach the finals, where he faced his biggest test. Pederson went first and matched the highest total of the night with 14 homers. Frazier needed a late surge to pull even, tying him with 11 seconds left in his round.
He'd hit enough long homers to earn an extra 30 seconds, giving him a chance to take a few deep breaths, regroup and refocus.
On the first pitch from brother Charlie in extra time, Frazier puffed his cheeks and exhaled as he hit one solidly, then mouthed the words "That's gone" as the ball headed for the left field stands. The ballpark was full of fans with arms raised even before the ball landed.
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