LOS ANGELES — The stage was set for a 3-Pete, but some youthful blood had other ideas.
Pete Alonso’s quest for a third straight House Operate Derby title was interrupted in the semifinals by Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez, but it was Nationals star Juan Soto who reigned supreme to win the crown at Dodger Stadium.
Soto, who was already the chat of the town prior to the Derby because of his uncertain future just before the MLB trade deadline, crushed 19 house operates to Rodriguez’s 18 in the remaining. The 23-year-aged showed off his sleek still left-handed swing to seize the title, fending off the 21-calendar year-aged Rodriguez, who experienced smashed a combined 63 homers in the very first two rounds to acquire the event by storm.
Following going through a blizzard of inquiries before in the working day about a potential trade, Soto went out and centered on his craft, just as he strategies to in the two months left until eventually the deadline.
“I just permit my agent [Scott Boras] do whatsoever he requires to do,” Soto reported. “All the discussions that they have, they’re going to have with him. I’m just heading to be here to engage in baseball. I’m just going to go to Nationals Park and give my 100 percent every single day.”
Albert Pujols, the retiring 42-yr-outdated Cardinals slugger in his remaining Derby, practically turned back the clock to make a run at the title, but he was bested by Soto 16-15 in the semifinals.
All round, Rodriguez hit the most complete home operates (81) while Soto hit the longest shot, a 482-foot blast in the to start with round.
“I’m pleased I won two in a row,” Alonso reported. “That’s amazingly tricky and incredibly special. But for Julio to get me down, a person had to at some point. … Occasionally it’s just not fantastic sufficient. I believed I place up a fantastic performance, but J-Rod was just far better tonight. He was totally electric powered.”
Alonso fended off Braves star and No. 7 seed Ronald Acuña Jr. in the to start with spherical, 20-19, but he ran out of fuel in the next spherical against Rodriguez. Soon after clobbering 32 homers in the initially round towards the Rangers’ Corey Seager, Rodriguez mashed 31 extra in the 2nd round, with Alonso mustering only 23.
Alonso, who gained his initial Derby as a rookie in 2019, was impressed by the new Derby rookie on the block.
“To be that consistent and be that on for the entire detail, that was unique,” Alonso reported. “He place on an complete display of what a Home Operate Derby need to be. That was impressive.”
Alonso, who received the function in 2019 and 2021 (it was not held through the COVID-shortened 2020 time), known as back again Dave Jauss to pitch him batting practice this 12 months. Jauss, the former Mets bench coach who threw to Alonso at Coors Field in 2021, is now in the Nationals organization but agreed to throw yet again in trade for pre-Derby espresso and put up-Derby beer.
Pujols pulled off an upset to near out the initially round, knocking off top-seeded Kyle Schwarber with 20 property operates to Schwarber’s 19, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Each of them hit 13 residence runs in regulation, forcing a a single-moment swing-off in which Pujols acquired sizzling and clubbed 7 homers, 1 a lot more than Schwarber.
Pujols’ fellow All-Stars had crowded all over him during a split just before the swing-off, honoring the potential Corridor of Famer.
“It was a genuinely special instant for him,” Soto claimed, “and even for ourselves to see the legend go like that.”