Cano tops Gonzalez in Home Run Derby


Cano tops Gonzalez in Home Run Derby

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
PHOENIX -- Just like seemingly everything else in Major League Baseball, the Home Run Derby Monday night came down to a battle between the Red Sox and Yankees.

With the American League already assured of a one-sided victory, the final round came down to Adrian Gonzalez vs. Robinson Cano.

After Gonzalez belted 11 homers in his turn to set a record for most homers in the final round, Cano topped him, hitting 12 and winning the title.

David Ortiz's American Leaguers finished with 76 homers to just 19 for Prince Fielder's National League squad.

"That was a lot of fun, said an exhausted Gonzalez. "Cano did an unbelievable job. He deserved to win -- he hit homers a lot farther than I did. I just got them over the fence and it was fun to make it to the finals.

Gonzalez said he didn't feel this represented another chapter of the Red Sox-Yankee rivalry.

"No, it didn't, said Gonzalez. "It was National League vs. American League and we put a pretty good whipping on them.

Gonzalez confessed he was "beat. You get to that 15-swing range and you're just focused on what pitches to swing at and all that goes out that door.

The Red Sox first baseman helped set the tone with nine homers in the first round.

"You really don't have an approach, said Gonzalez. "You just try to hit home runs. You try to get a good pitch to hit.

That was my only thing going in because in St. Louis (in 2009), I was really antsy and I didn't take a lot of pitches. I didn't focus enough on getting a good pitch.

Until about 20 minutes before the event, Gonzalez didn't have anybody picked out to throw to him in the Derby. He had hoped to have his older brother David pitch to him, but his brother couldn't make it. He then tried his former high school coach, who also was unavailable.

Looking for volunteers, Gonzalez found Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta, who is serving as a coach for the American League All-Star team.

"He quickly found where I liked the ball, said Gonzalez, "and he did a great job of just grooving it in there. There wasn't any choice. I was asking around and he said, 'All right, I'll do it.'

Ortiz, who selected the squad, joked that he proved he could be a manager.

"Tito, look out, man, said Ortiz. "Im coming to get your job. I made the right choice. It was an unbelievable show between Robinson and my teammate, Gonzo. What Cano did out there was unbelievable.

Ortiz admitted that he thought about the Red Sox-Yankee showdown in the final round.

"I thought about that for a minute, said Ortiz. "But in the end, you really want either one especially from your team to win. But the most important thing was to put on a good show for the fans.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League


Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League

CLEVELAND -- David Ortiz is heading into retirement with some more hardware.

The Boston Red Sox slugger captured the Hank Aaron Award on Wednesday as the top hitter in the American League this season. Budding Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant was honored as the top hitter in the National League.

The award was presented before Game 2 of the World Series between the Cubs and Cleveland. It was determined through a combination of fan voting and a panel that includes Aaron and other Hall of Fame players.

The 40-year-old Ortiz hit .315 with 38 home runs, 127 RBIs and 48 doubles in the 20th and final season of his major league career. His 541 career home runs rank 17th all-time.

The 24-year-old Bryant hit .292 with 39 home runs and 102 RBIs while helping the Cubs cruise to the NL Central title and eventually a spot in the World Series. Shortly after being honored, Bryant singled in the first inning for his first Series hit.