Sluggers square off in Cleveland | News Coverage from USA

Sluggers square off in Cleveland

CLEVELAND — The Home Run Derby, the annual celebration of longballs, invades Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians.

The way the ball has been flying out of parks this season, fans will witness a flurry of homers in tonight’s event from some of the league’s top sluggers.

There were 3,691 home runs hit in the first half of the season, which puts the league on pace for 6,668, nearly 1,100 more than a year ago and more than 500 homers over the record of 6,105 in 2017. So why not a record number at the Derby too? 

Eight hitters, facing off in a bracket-style format, will compete in this year’s event. Reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich was originally the No. 1 seed, but pulled out of the event on Sunday due to a sore back. 

Keep up with all the action from Cleveland:

First round

No. 1 Matt Chapman vs. No. 8 Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

  • Guerrero Jr. – 23 HR – longest 476 feet: The 20-year-old didn’t disappoint, putting on an absolute show. He hit some absolute moonshots over the wall in left, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Vlad Jr. added six(!) more in the 30 seconds of bonus time.

No. 5 Joc Pederson defeats No. 4 Alex Bregman

  • Pederson – 21 HR – longest 452 feet: Took him a few minutes to find a rhythm but after taking a break, he started punishing balls into the right-field seats. Pederson earned bonus time and added more four homers in the extra 30 seconds. Quite a showing from the Dodger to start things off.
  • Bregman – 15 HR – longest 417 feet:  It’s a tough ballpark for right-handed hitters with the big wall in left, and Bregman found out the hard way. He got hot with about 90 seconds left, but just couldn’t keep it going to catch Pederson.

No. 3 Josh Bell vs. No. 6 Ronald Acuña Jr.

No. 2 Pete Alonso vs. No. 7 Carlos Santana

Here’s everything you need to know for Monday’s event:

When: 8 p.m. ET, Monday, July 8

Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland 

How to watch: ESPN, streaming on ESPN.com

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