USA outslugs World in 8-homer Futures Game

Diaz only 2nd player in game's history to go deep twice

July 15th, 2018

WASHINGTON -- Nobody told the players in Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game that the T-Mobile Home Run Derby wasn't taking place until Monday night.
Box score
The two sides combined for eight home runs -- doubling the previous Futures Game record -- as the Team USA outslugged the World, 10-6, on All-Star Sunday at Nationals Park.
Yusniel Diaz, the Dodgers' No. 4 prospect, became only the second player in the 20-year history of the Futures Game to go deep twice, but it wasn't enough as the U.S. bashed its way to its second straight win and eighth in the past nine years. 

Seven players homered overall in the game, and the eight long balls were more than had been hit in the previous five Futures Games comined, but the decisive run came on a Brendan Rodgers strikeout as Jo Adell (No. 36 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 and the Angels' No. 1 prospect) scored on a wild pitch.
Taylor Trammell (No. 34 overall, Reds' No. 3) earned MVP honors, going 2-for-2 with a home run and a triple.

"You look at the game, the way it went down, there wasn't much of a difference," World manager David Ortiz said. "It was back-and forth-type of game. To me, that's a good sign to know, as a baseball fan like I am right now, that the future of the game is in great hands."
U.S. Team starter Mitch Keller (No. 12 overall, Pirates' No. 1) showed his stuff in a perfect opening frame.

His offense rewarded him with a two-out rally against World Team starter Jesus Luzardo (No. 20 overall, Athletics' No. 1) in the bottom of the inning as Rodgers (No. 6 overall, Rockies' No. 1) doubled to left field, scoring the game's first run on a single by Rays prospect Nate Lowe.
(No. 39 overall, Yankees' No. 2) took the mound for the second inning for the USA, promptly giving up the lead as Seuly Matias (Royals' No. 3) launched a 93.8 mph fastball over the right-field wall, his leadoff homer tying the game.

Hunter Greene (No. 18 overall, Reds' No. 2) came out firing after relieving Sheffield with one out and a man on base in the third. The right-hander's first pitch clocked in at 100.9 mph, which he followed up with pitches of 102.4, 101.9 and 102.3 mph; unfortunately, the last one was sent soaring over the fence in right-center by , the White Sox's No. 13 prospect.
"He's not trying to homer, he's trying to put the ball in play," Ortiz said. "This guy's mindset, at this early stage in his career, he's in the game. It's something that impressed me a lot."
The two-run home run gave the World Team a 3-1 lead, which Luzardo and Bryan Mata (Red Sox's No. 4) held through the third.
Greene threw 19 fastballs during his 27-pitch outing; every one of them registered between 100.0 and 103.1 mph.

"I want someone to look at that and tell me if you see that in the Major League All-Star Game," U.S. manager Torii Hunter said. "You won't see it, I promise."
Team USA battled back in the fourth against (Twins' No. 11), getting a pair of two-run blasts from (Blue Jays' No. 6) and Ke'Bryan Hayes (No. 92 overall, Pirates' No. 3). Hayes -- the son of former big leaguer Charlie Hayes -- snapped the tie game with his shot, vaulting the U.S. Team back on top by two runs.
Then again, on this day, a two-run lead didn't feel like much of a lead at all.
Matt Manning (No. 47 overall, Tigers' No. 2) recorded two quick outs in the fifth, but like so many other pitchers Sunday, that third out proved to be more difficult.
:: 2018 Futures Game coverage ::
(No. 3 overall, Padres' No. 1) reached on a two-out single, setting up Diaz's two-run blast to right-center. The No. 85 overall prospect pulled the World Team even again with his blast, the third for his squad and fifth overall between the two teams in the first five frames.
"I gave up one and I was pretty mad, but after watching the rest of the game, that's just the kind of game it was," Manning said. "That's an All-Star lineup. In the Minors, I may get one of those guys a day. To get nine of them at one time is tough, but that's how it's going to be in the big leagues."
Trammell broke the tie in the bottom of the sixth with -- what else -- a solo home run. The 20-year-old, who plays in the Class A Florida State League, launched a 2-2 fastball from Kieran Lovegrove (Indians) to right-center, giving Team USA a 6-5 lead.
This lead vanished quickly, too.
Diaz belted a two-out solo shot off Shaun Anderson (Giants' No. 7) to tie the game at 6 in the seventh inning. It was the second homer of the game for Diaz, who joined Alfonso Soriano as the only players in the game's 20-year history to go deep twice. Soriano hit two homers in the inaugural game back in 1999.
"Those are Minor Leaguers hitting balls like big leaguers," Ortiz said. "That is impressive. I saw balls hit today that I swear, I was watching a Major League Baseball player."

Adell opened the bottom of the seventh with a double, moved to third on a passed ball and scored when Rodgers' third strike went to the backstop, giving USA a one-run advantage. That lead swelled to three nine pitches later as Peter Alonso (Mets' No. 2) won a battle with Adonis Medina (No. 74 overall, Phillies' No. 2), crushing a 3-2 fastball down the left-field line. The two-run homer gave Team USA a 9-6 lead.
To nobody's surprise, the World Team threatened to tie the game in the following inning, using a walk and an Alonso error to bring the tying run to the plate with nobody out. But Kyle Wright (No. 25 overall, Braves' No. 2) entered the game and restored order, getting a fly ball and a double play to preserve the three-run cushion.
"That was clutch, man," USA pitching coach LaTroy Hawkins said. "We needed him to go in there and throw strikes and he did that."
(No. 40 overall, White Sox's No. 4) and (Brewers' No. 4) finished off the World Team with a scoreless ninth.