One night after finishing second in the home-run derby with 22 final-round blasts, Sioux Falls’ Jabari Henry was the hero in the first American Association All-Star Game since 2019, blasting a three-run ninth-inning homer with his team down to its final out to lead the West to a 7-6 victory over the East on Tuesday night.
The West took advantage of its powerful lineup early, jumping on Kane County starter Ryan Tapani with four runs in the first inning. Kansas City CF Jan Hernandez, tied for the league lead with 20 home runs, started off the scoring by driving in teammate 2B Darnell Sweeney with a two-run round-tripper. Monarchs DH Matt Adams followed with a single, then Fargo-Moorhead 1B Manny Boscan doubled the West lead with another two-run homer.
The East responded with a run in the bottom half of the first; after Milwaukee SS Mason Davis tripled off of Kansas City’s Matt Hartman, Milkmen RF Bryan Torres drove him in with a groundout to make it 4-1.
The score held until the fourth, when Fargo-Moorhead’s Tyler Grauer gave up solo shots to Torres and Kane County CF Jimmy Kerrigan to cut the West’s lead to 4-3.
The East finally went ahead in the seventh. With two outs and the bases empty, Gary SouthShore SS Daniel Lingua and Torres hit back-to-back singles. Chicago DH K.C. Hobson then knocked a 2-1 pitch off of Winnipeg’s Tasker Strobel over the left-field fence to make it a 6-4 game.
In the ninth, after Kansas City C Alexis Olmeda was hit by a pitch and Sioux Falls LF Wyatt Ulrich walked, Henry came up with two outs and cleared the wall in left with a round-tripper off of Chicago’s Paul Schwendel. For his efforts, he earned the All-Star Game MVP honors.
Kansas City’s Jameson McGrane earned the win, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Schwendel took the loss.
Kerrigan and Torres both went 2-for-4 on the night for the East, while Hernandez was the only West player with a multiple-hit evening, going 2-for-5.
To re-watch the game, head here: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/henry-stars-as-west-tops-east-at-american-association-all-star-game/