Matt Kemp admits to jitters, Robinson Cano wins the show at home run derby
Reporting from Phoenix — Matt Kemp admitted he got a little excited at his first taste of All-Star competition, even if it was basically just batting practice.
“I was probably a little amped up. Probably a little quick,” the Dodgers outfielder said after Monday’s home run derby.
But even the fact he finished last in the eight-man event with just two home runs couldn’t take the shine off his evening.
“It was tight, man. That was a great experience,” Kemp said. “I wish I could have hit more home runs. It’s definitely harder than what it looks like on TV.”
For some more than others, apparently. The Yankees’ Robinson Cano, batting against his father, Jose, a former big-league pitcher, hit a final-round-record 12 home runs to edge Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez.
“I didn’t win the trophy. I want to say my dad won the trophy,” Cano said. “It’s a good memory, something I’m always going to have in my mind.”
Cano finished with 32 homers overall, one more than Gonzalez. Combined the two helped the American League foursome, a Latin Lumber Co., made up of three Dominicans and a Mexican, win the team competition with 76 home runs to 19 for the National League quartet.
Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder was the only NL slugger to make it out of the first round, finishing with nine homers. He also had the longest, a second-round shot of 474 feet.
Kemp, meanwhile, was homerless heading into what could have been his final swing when Yankees catcher Russell Martin, a former Dodgers teammate, rushed to the plate with some Gatorade. After a quick swig, Kemp hit a booming home run into the upper deck. Then, following another drink from Martin’s bottle, he lined a 423-foot shot into the lower bleachers in left.
But even after popping up the next pitch from Dodgers bullpen catcher Rob Flippo, Kemp walked away from the plate with a smile.
“I [was] in the home run derby,” he said. “Not everyone gets to be in the home run derby.”
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