The Braves’ Mike Soroka is just 21 years old but he needed only 10 pitches to prove he already belongs among the game’s best players.
Soroka pitched a scoreless sixth inning in Tuesday night’s All-Star game in Cleveland.
Soroka retired Whit Merrifield (fly out), Carlos Santana (ground out ) and Daniel Vogelbach (fly out).
Two other teammates, Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna, were on the National League team. Braves manager Brian Snitker was a coach for the NL.
Acuna, who competed in the Home Run Derby a day earlier, went 0-for-2 and struck out both times. Freeman was 0-for-1 with a walk and a strikeout.
Soroka is 9-1 with a 2.42 ERA this season. He broke into the majors last season, but made only five starts before right shoulder inflammation ended his season. He was 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA.
The American League won the game 4-3 for its seventh straight win. The AL pitching staff combined to fan 16.
Aroldis Chapman threw a perfect ninth to give the American League its 19th win in 22 games, with a tie stuck in there too. Chapman got a little encouragement with two outs — Yankees teammate CC Sabathia, honored this week for his contributions on and off the field, strolled to the mound to talk to Chapman.
Chapman then struck out Yasmani Grandal for a save, giving the AL a 45-43-2 lead in the Midsummer Classic.
Major League Baseball is on a record-shattering pace for homers this season, but no one came close to clearing the walls until former Georgia Tech star Charlie Blackmon connected in the NL sixth. Texas' Joey Gallo countered with a solo drive in the seventh.
Still, it was a far cry from last year's All-Star Game that featured a record 10 home runs.
The Indians’ Shane Bieber earned the MVP award in front of his home fans, striking out Willson Contreras, Ketel Marte and Acuna Jr. in the fifth.
Overall, there were 36 first-time All-Stars, a number boosted by the absence of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Jose Altuve and several past perennials. Of the 16 AL pitchers on the 2017 All-Star roster, none made the roster this year.
All players wore a uniform patch with No. 45 to honor late Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Los Angeles teammates Mike Trout and Tommy La Stella switched their jerseys to Skaggs' number, and there was a pregame moment of silence.
The regular season resumes on Thursday night with one game, Houston at Texas. All teams are back in action Friday, including the Braves playing in San Diego.
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