MIAMI -- Justin Smoak said that he is used to relaxing at home at this point of the season, but the Blue Jays slugger instead was pleased to spend his break contributing to the American League's 2-1, 10-inning win in Tuesday's 88th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, singling and working
MIAMI -- Justin Smoak said that he is used to relaxing at home at this point of the season, but the Blue Jays slugger instead was pleased to spend his break contributing to the American League's 2-1, 10-inning win in Tuesday's 88th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, singling and working a walk.
Batting sixth in the AL's lineup, Smoak stroked a one-out single to right field in the second inning off the Phillies' Pat Neshek, accounting for his team's second hit of the evening and the first by a Blue Jay in the All-Star Game since Jose Bautista in 2011. He then worked a four-pitch free pass against the Cardinals' Carlos Martinez in the fourth inning.
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"It was awesome. I'm still trying to soak it all in," Smoak said. "I got a knock, and that was good. It was something that I'll always remember for the rest of my life, and I'm just trying to enjoy it as much as I could."
Smoak's 23 homers rank sixth in the American League, and he became the first Toronto player to start at first base in the All-Star Game since Carlos Delgado in 2003.
"Before the game I was a little anxious, but once I got on the field, I felt comfortable," Smoak said. "I felt relaxed getting in the box, and I felt a lot more comfortable than I thought I was going to the first time. I definitely enjoyed it a lot."
Smoak said that he marveled at the depth of the AL lineup, noting that they had Mookie Betts of the Red Sox batting ninth.
"I think being with the Blue Jays and being with All-Stars day in and day out, you feel comfortable around them," Smoak said. "Being able to hang out with these guys and see them face to face in the same clubhouse, it does not get any better than that."
Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna worked a scoreless seventh inning around a Michael Conforto single, inducing Corey Seager to hit into a double play, and said that he thoroughly enjoyed sharing the All-Star experience with his family.
"It's just a dream that came true today," Osuna said. "Playing on the same team as Robinson Cano; I remember him when he was with the Yankees. I grew up watching him play. [Yadier] Molina is one of the best players that I've ever seen.
"I grew up watching those guys, so playing against them or on the same team means everything to me."
Osuna had said that one of his favorite moments of Tuesday's experience was simply riding the bus with some of the other All-Stars on the way to Marlins Park, but that didn't compare to the feeling of walking off the mound at the end of his inning.
"I felt like the strongest guy in the world," Osuna said.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com.