LOS ANGELES -- After striking out in his first at-bat in the All-Star Game on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, Byron Buxton vowed to himself to at least make contact and try for a single in his next at-bat.
Buxton did more than just that, coming through with a go-ahead solo homer in the fourth inning to help the American League to a 3-2 win. Buxton was in the on-deck circle when Giancarlo Stanton crushed a 457-foot homer to left-center field, and Buxton followed it up with a 425-foot blast on a high fastball from Tony Gonsolin, who is 11-0 in the regular season but was charged with the loss in the Midsummer Classic.
“I was just thinking base hit,” Buxton said. “I just wanted to get on base and keep the line moving, but I put on a better swing on it than I thought.”
Buxton, who was an All-Star for the first time in his eight-year career, was in consideration to be the Chevrolet All-Star Game MVP for his go-ahead shot, but Stanton ended up taking home the honors. Buxton, though, said he was happy for Stanton, especially because Stanton is from Los Angeles.
“That doesn’t bother me,” Buxton said. “The fact I was chosen to be able to play side by side with him is the memory I’ll have. He talked about how he used to sit a few rows from where he hit that homer when he was little, so I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Buxton, 28, started in center field with Mike Trout out because of a ribcage injury. He said he enjoyed the experience, as he was able to take it all in with his family and teammate and fellow All-Star Luis Arraez.
“It’s indescribable,” Buxton said. “Just who Luis is as a person, it’s even better than he is as a player. That’s probably one of the reasons why I’m glad he was here by my side to enjoy this with me. For me, I got to come out and enjoy the memory with my family.”
Arraez, who went 1-for-2 with a single in the eighth, said he also enjoyed his experience and was in awe of Buxton’s epic blast.
“When Byron hit the home run, that was my favorite moment today,” Arraez said. “He’s my teammate, and he’s really like my brother, so that was my favorite moment.”