By Craig Filazzola, WSOE Sports Director
Neither of the fan favorites took home Monday night’s Home Run Derby in St. Louis. Instead, it was Prince Fielder who defeated Nelson Cruz 6-5 in the final round to claim the title at Busch Stadium.
The fans had two players they rooted for more than the others. Obviously they would have loved to have seen Albert Pujols win on behalf of their Cardinals. Hometown hero Ryan Howard of the Phillies was second on their list. As the derby played out, both players were eliminated in the second round.
Pujols came close to not even surpassing the first round. He tied Joe Mauer and Carlos Pena for fourth place with five. One of Pujols’ homers was controversial. The review showed that a fan in right-centerfield clearly reached to get the ball that may have ended up hitting top of the wall.
Since the top four players advance to the second round, Mauer, Pena, and Pujols took five swings each in the “Bat Off.” Mauer failed to hit a homer, Pena launched only one and Pujols belted two to move on to round number two.
As the first batter of the second round, Pujols posted six homers, a total of 11 for both rounds. Ryan Howard knocked out eight for a total of 15. Both players would be overmatched by Fielder’s six, 17 for two rounds, and Cruz’s five, 16 for the night.
Coverage of tonight’s All-Star game will begin at 8 on FOX.
WSOE Sports Director