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All-Star Game-winning home run earns Robinson Cano MVP acclaim

The American League team cheer Seattle Mariners Robinson Cano (22), after he hit a home run in the tenth inning, during the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 11, 2017, in Miami. The American League defeated the National League 2-1. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Robinson Cano entered his eighth All-Star Game in the eighth inning of the latest Midsummer Classic.

He struck out in his first at-bat.

But with the game having been extended to extra innings in a pitching-dominated showcase, the Seattle Mariners second baseman received a second chance. Despite facing the most dominant reliever in baseball over the past several seasons, Cano belted a solo home run in the 10th inning that ended up giving the American League a 2-1 victory over the National League.

Cano’s blast to right field off Wade Davis earned him MVP honors in this 88th interleague event. It’s Cano’s first All-Star MVP Award. Ichiro Suzuki was the previous Mariner to claim this honor, being named MVP of the 2007 All-Star Game. Ken Griffey Jr. (1992) was the only other Mariner to earn this distinction.

The 34-year-old Cano’s blast marked the fourth go-ahead home run in extra innings in All-Star Game annals and first in 50 years.

Davis entered the game in the 10th inning with it tied at 1. The Chicago Cubs’ closer finished the first half of the season with a 1.80 ERA and hasn’t finished a season with an ERA north of 1.90 since 2013. Although Davis escaped the 10th without further damage, including striking out former Kansas City Royals teammate Mike Moustakas, AL reliever Andrew Miller worked a perfect 10th to earn the save and cinch up the fifth straight All-Star Game victory for the league that favors the designated hitter.

The National League lost despite its pitching staff striking out 14 batters. Only Davis and Alex Wood allowed more than one hit, with Wood’s being a single to Miguel Sano that scored Jonathan Schoop to give the AL a 1-0 lead in the fifth.

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