Scooter Gennett provided the record-breaking two-run blast in the bottom of the ninth inning, which also tied the game for the National League. But the American League followed with big flies of its own from Astros teammates Alex Bregman and George Springer in the 10th, extending the new mark and putting the AL back in front. Joey Votto added one more for good measure, but the AL hung on for an 8-6 victory at Nationals Park in the 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.
No All-Star Game had even seen six homers in 47 years. That 1971 Midsummer Classic at Tiger Stadium had some serious star power involved. The AL took a 6-4 victory that year behind homers from Reggie Jackson, Frank Robinson and Harmon Killebrew, overcoming NL big flies off the bats of Johnny Bench, Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente. All six of those home run hitters are Hall of Famers.
On Tuesday, Aaron Judge got things started with a solo shot off NL starter Max Scherzer in the second inning, and Mike Trout added on with another solo blast in the third against Jacob deGrom. The NL clawed back with two solo homers of its own, from Willson Contreras in the third and Trevor Story in the seventh before Jean Segura struck the big blow of the night with an eighth-inning three-run shot against Josh Hader to give the AL a 5-2 lead. Christian Yelich got a run back and tied the All-Star Game record with his opposite-field solo shot against Charlie Morton in the eighth inning.
Then, Gennett struck. With one out and one on, facing hard-throwing Mariners closer Edwin Diaz, the Reds' second baseman crushed a ball over the right-field wall to tie the game and set a new mark for All-Star Game slugging.
The game went to extra innings, and the dingers didn't stop there. Leading off, Bregman ripped a solo shot against the Dodgers' Ross Stripling, and Springer took the next pitch the opposite way for an insurance run. Michael Brantley added a sacrifice fly later in the inning to extend the AL's lead to 8-5 and provide the first run of the game that didn't come via the homer.
Votto's solo shot off J.A. Happ in the bottom of the 10th wasn't enough to complete another NL comeback, but it did mean that both teams finished with five homers, something that no All-Star squad had ever done. The record was four, with the AL doing that in 1954 and the NL in '51, '60 and '81.
In fact, It was the first time that five players have homered for each team in the same game -- not just in an All-Star Game, but also in the regular season or postseason, according to ESPN.
Here are some other facts and figures to know from the 2018 All-Star Game:
AL KEEPS STREAKING
• This was the sixth straight victory for the AL, although none of those have been blowouts, each coming by three runs or fewer. The AL now has taken 19 of the past 22 Midsummer Classics going back to 1997.
• The AL leads the all-time All-Star series, 44-43-2. It is the first time the AL has led the series since it was 17-16-1 in 1963.
BREGMAN COMES UP BIG
• When Bregman stepped to the plate in the top of the 10th, there had only been four extra-inning home runs in All-Star Game history -- Robinson Cano's last year, Tony Perez's in 1967, Stan Musial's in '55 and Red Schoendienst's in '50. All of those were go-ahead home runs. Bregman provided the fifth -- and his teammate Springer quickly followed with the sixth.
• The two Astros going back-to-back put them in rare company. They're just the third pair of teammates to homer in the same inning of an All-Star Game, and the second pair to go back-to-back. The Royals' Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez both homered off Johnny Cueto in the second inning of the 2016 All-Star Game, and the Dodgers' Steve Garvey and Jim Wynn went back-to-back off Vida Blue in the second inning in 1975.
• This isn't the first time Bregman and Springer have hit back-to-back homers. They did it just last month, on June 20 against the Rays, but in reverse order. Springer, batting first, and Bregman, batting second, hit homers off Nathan Eovaldi leading off the sixth inning in Houston.
• Bregman's tiebreaking home run earned him the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. That's the second time in recent seasons that a player from the defending World Series champions won the All-Star Game MVP the following year. Hosmer did it in 2016 after winning the World Series with Kansas City in '15.
• The Astros are the seventh team to have the World Series MVP in one season followed by the All-Star Game MVP the next. The others: Perez and Hosmer for the Royals (2015-16), Mike Lowell and J.D. Drew for the Red Sox (2007-08), Troy Glaus and Garret Anderson for the Angels (2002-03), Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter for the Yankees (1999-2000), Pete Rose and George Foster for the Reds (1975-76) and Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson for the Orioles (1970-71).
• Gennett's game-tying homer in the ninth off Diaz made Gennett just the third player to hit a game-tying home run in the ninth inning or later of an All-Star Game. Ralph Kiner was the first to do it in 1950, followed by Fred McGriff in '94.
• Stepping to the plate in a 2-2 game in the eighth, Segura untied the All-Star Game with one big swing. The AL has now gotten a late-game go-ahead home run in two straight All-Star Games -- from a pair of Mariners. Last year, Robinson Cano hit what would be the game-winning home run in the 10th inning of the All-Star Game.
• Judge became the first Yankees player to homer in an All-Star Game since Jason Giambi took Billy Wagner deep in 2003. The last Yankee to go deep as a starter was Alfonso Soriano, who did it the previous year, against Eric Gagne.
• Contreras got the NL on the board in the third inning by lining a 97.8-mph fastball from Rays left-hander Blake Snell at 108.8 mph over the left-field wall for a solo shot. Contreras' home run came on the first pitch he saw in an All-Star Game. Interestingly, he also homered on the first pitch he saw in his Major League career, on June 19, 2016. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Contreras is the first player in MLB history to homer on the first pitch of his career and his first pitch seen in an All-Star Game.
• After going 1-for-2 with a walk and a home run in his sixth career All-Star Game, Trout improved his overall line in the Midsummer Classic to 7-for-15 with two doubles, a triple, two homers and three walks. His .467 batting average ranks fourth in All-Star Game history, while his 1.133 slugging percentage ranks first, passing Alfonso Soriano (1.000).
• Trout worked Scherzer for a tough eight-pitch walk in the first inning and now has reached base safely in his first plate appearance in each of his six All-Star Games. He came off the bench to single off R.A. Dickey in 2012, and then as a starter doubled off Matt Harvey in '13, tripled off Adam Wainwright in '14, homered off Zack Greinke in '15, and singled off Johnny Cueto in '16, before missing last year's game due to injury.
• Trout had plenty more in store, lining a solo homer to left field off deGrom in the third inning to extend the AL's lead to 2-0. Trout has a hit in each of his first six career All-Star Game appearances, becoming only the third player in Major League history to accomplish that feat -- he joins Hall of Famers Willie Mays (1954-59) and Joe Morgan (1965, '67, '72-75).
• Trout is just the third AL player to hit two All-Star Game home runs before the age of 27, joining Al Kaline and Mickey Mantle. Along with those homers, Trout has a triple and two doubles in his All-Star Game career. The only player with more total extra-base hits for the AL in the Midsummer Classic is Ted Williams, who had seven.
• Overall, Trout is the eighth player in All-Star Game history to hit safely in at least six straight, and it's an illustrious list. Morgan, Mantle and Dave Winfield are tied for the record with seven straight games. Trout now joins Mays, Stan Musial, Johnny Bench and Nellie Fox with six straight.
HERE COMES THE HEAT
• There were 363 pitches thrown by 18 pitchers Tuesday, about 60 percent of which were four- or two-seam fastballs. Here is a breakdown of the astonishing velocity that was on display:
100+ mph: three pitches by one pitcher (Chris Sale) 99+ mph: 18 pitches by four pitchers 98+ mph: 55 pitches by 10 pitchers 97+ mph: 99 pitches by 13 pitchers 96+ mph: 145 pitches by 15 pitchers 95+ mph: 176 pitches by 15 pitchers
• Scherzer's fastest pitch this season is 97.3 mph, but he brought out a little extra in the first inning. The righty threw his four fastest pitches of 2018 in the opening frame, including a 98.2 mph heater to whiff Jose Altuve. He topped out at 98.5 mph.
• Sale also let it eat when he took the mound. He hit triple digits on the radar gun three times in the first inning, and his final pitch of the frame was a 100.7 mph heater to get Freddie Freeman to fly out. Sale has never thrown a pitch that hard as a starting pitcher in a Major League game. He threw two pitches that fast as a rookie reliever in 2010.