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Selasa, 10 Juli 2012

Fielder wows in final, wins Home Run Derby

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There must be something about Prince Fielder and competing in the Home Run Derby in Missouri. 
 Fielder launched 28 home runs Monday night at Kauffman Stadium to win his second Home Run Derby in the past four years. The first came in 2009 across the state in St. Louis.
 The Detroit slugger became the second player in Derby history to win multiple times, joining three-time winner Ken Griffey Jr. But he's the first player to win a title in both leagues, having won his first as a Milwaukee Brewer.
 "It means a lot because being mentioned with Ken is real special," Fielder said. "As a kid, like my kids, he was the first person with the NBA Jam arcade in his house, so my dad would let me go over there and play video games all day and he always took care of me when I was a kid. To be mentioned with him was real special."

Fielder, the first Detroit Tiger to win the event, beat Toronto's Jose Bautista by a 12-7 margin in the final round. After sneaking into the second round with the fourth-best score of just five in round one, the left-handed-hitting slugger hit 23 home runs the next two rounds. 

It was the second win in four Home Run Derby appearances for Fielder.

"It's fun," Fielder said. "Especially because my kids are out there and they are having a blast. Anytime you see your kids having a good time, you enjoy it as well. I'm just happy that I am healthy and able to be here. 

"If I'm invited, I'll keep doing it. They are a lot of fun."

Bautista, who failed to get past the first round last year, advanced to the final by defeating Angels slugger Mark Trumbo in a swing-off after both finished the first two rounds tied for second with a total of 13 home runs. The Blue Jays masher, who is tied for the major league lead with 27 home runs at the break, led the group with 11 home runs after the first round. But despite being in prime position to advance, he hit just two in the second round and was forced into the swing-off. 

Despite finishing third, Trumbo hit some of the longest home runs of the night, hitting one off the Royals Hall of Fame building in left field that was estimated at 475 feet. The Angels star hit four home runs of at least 450 feet in the first round.

Cardinals outfielder and former Royal Carlos Beltran advanced to the second round by tying for second with seven home runs in the first round. He hit five more in the second round, including 454- and 459-foot blasts to right.

Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies and Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates both hit four home runs and were eliminated in the first round. National League captain Matt Kemp, currently on the disabled list, finished with just one.

Yankees second baseman and American League captain Robinson Cano was the lone participant not to hit any home runs, drawing the loudest cheers of the night from the Kansas City crowd as each out was recorded. 

Cano, last year's Derby champion in Arizona, originally pledged to pick a hometown Royal for the Derby when he was announced as the American League captain. But he eventually decided against it, a move that didn't sit well with the Kansas City fans. 

The crowd chanted, "Bil-ly But-ler!" in reference to the Kansas City All-Star and alternated loud boos with cheers as each out fell short of the wall.   

Earlier in the evening, a plane made several passes around the airspace above Kauffman Stadium pulling a sign that read, "CONGRATS BILLY! YOU BLEW IT CANO – 810 WHB." A local Kansas City sports talk radio station apparently footed the bill.

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