Pirates’ Josh Bell bows out of Home Run Derby early; Mets’ Pete Alonso wins
CLEVELAND — Josh Bell drove a baseball 459 feet, but the Pittsburgh Pirates’ All-Star lost in the first round of the Home Run Derby, 25-18, to the Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr., on Monday night at Progressive Field.
With best friend Jon Schwind — a hitting coach for the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians — pitching, Bell hit 17 homers in the first four minutes and added one in 30 seconds of bonus time.
Bell was the No. 3 seed. Acuna Jr., the National League’s reigning Rookie of the Year, was seeded sixth.
Acuna Jr. lost in the semifinals to the New York Mets’ Pete Alonso, 20-19. When Alonso defeated the Cleveland Indians’ Carlos Santana, 14-13, in the first round, he was lustily booed by the Progressive Field crowd of 36,119.
The New York Mets’ Pete Alonso, won the championship, beating the Toronto Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 23-22, in the final. Alonso is first Mets player to win the title outright. Darryl Strawberry shared it with Wally Joyner in 1986.
Alonso ruined a rags-to-riches story that Guerrero seemed to be writing. He has only eight home runs this season and was seeded eighth and last in the tournament. He advanced to the final by edging the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson, 40-39, after two 60-second tie-breakers. He hit a total of 91 home runs in less than three hours.
Pederson, who hadn’t homered in 11 previous at-bats at Progressive Field, advanced to the semifinals, belting 21 baseballs into the right-field stands. Pederson, who hit without a hat, recorded 17 homers in the first four minutes and four more in 30 seconds of bonus time.
The Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman, who as an accomplished American League rival was greeted with a round of boos, bowed out with 16.
Guerrero, whose Hall of Fame father Vladimir Guerrero won the event in 2007, hit 24 home runs, plus five in bonus time, to defeat Matt Chapman of the Oakland A’s, 29-13, in the first round.
Chapman was added to the competition Sunday when No. 1 seed Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers decided not to compete because of a sore back.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .