Guerrero, Ohtani lead AL to All-Star victory

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·2-min read
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. celebrates after his home run helped the American League to victory over the National League in the MLB All-Star Game
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Vladimir Guerrero Jr crushed a monster home run and Japanese star Shohei Ohtani pitched a scoreless inning to help extend the American League's All-Star Game winning streak with a 5-2 win over the National League in Denver on Tuesday.

Los Angeles Angels ace Ohtani -- who made history by also leading off the American League's batting line-up -- threw down 10 strikes in a 14-pitch first inning before being replaced.

Ohtani, Major League Baseball's home run leader with 33 at the halfway stage of the season, was unable to make much impression with the bat however, grounding out in the first and third in his two at bats.

Instead, the hitting pyrotechnics were led by Toronto Blue Jays slugger Guerrero Jr, who crushed a solo shot to left center field in the top of the third to put the AL 2-0 up after Marcus Semien's single scored Aaron Judge in the second.

Guerrero's home run was enough to earn him Most Valuable Player honours, the youngest player in history to earn the accolade.

The 22-year-old's homer also came 15 years after his father Vladimir Guerrero Sr smashed a home run in the 2006 All-Star Game.

"It means the world to me," Guerrero Jr said through an interpreter after the game. "I just want to thank my dad -- Dad, this is for you."

The win was the eighth-straight All Star game victory for the American League team.

Guerrero helped the AL into a 3-0 lead in the top of the fifth, grounding out to send in Teoscar Hernandez. Xander Bogaerts extended the AL lead with a single to allow Cedric Mullins to cross home plate.

Tampa Bay Rays catcher Mike Zunino's solo home run gave the AL insurance with a 5-1 lead at the top of the sixth.

Australian pitcher Liam Hendriks -- becoming the first Aussie to feature in two All-Star Games -- then locked down the win with the save in the ninth inning.

"The first one was surreal and the second one makes me the first ever Australian to get to two and that's special," Hendriks said afterwards.

"It's near and dear to my heart and hopefully it gets more Aussies involved in baseball. It's a world game now. There's a lot of us over here and hopefully there's more to come."

rcw/caw

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