The American League beat the National League 5-3 on Tuesday night at Target Field in Minneapolis in the 85th Major League Baseball All-Star Game, but the Reds are going to be more concerned with the health of closer Aroldis Chapman.
Chapman entered the game with one out in the eighth inning and retired Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes and Seattle’s Kyle Seager on groundouts. Chapman appeared to be limping as he covered first base on Seager’s grounder to Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman.
Chapman was held out of action against Milwaukee on July 6 because of a hamstring injury. He pitched on five of the last six days prior to the All-Star break, striking out 13 of the 18 batters he faced, including striking out the side in his last two appearances against Pittsburgh.
In the All-Star Game, Chapman threw five pitches — all fastballs and all clocked at 99 mph or faster with four of them hitting triple digits.
The Reds return from the All-Star break on Friday when they open up a three-game series in New York against the Yankees.
Through an interpreter after the game, Chapman told reporters his right hamstring has been bothering him when he runs but he was pitching through it and expected to continue to do so.
Chapman was one of five Reds represented on the National League team.
Pitcher Alfredo Simon was the first Reds player to make an appearance, entering the game in the third inning to face the top of the AL lineup with the NL trailing 3-2. He gave up an opposite field single to Derek Jeter of the Yankees, who went to second on a wild pitch but no farther in his final All-Star Game appearance. Jeter was replaced by Alexei Ramirez of the White Sox in the top of the fourth inning.
Simon got Mike Trout of the Angels to line out to left fielder Carlos Gomez of Milwaukee, struck out Seattle’s Robinson Cano and then got Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera to line out to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki of Colorado.
The NL tied the game, 3-3, in the top of the fourth with a two-out RBI double by Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy that scored Dee Gordon of the Dodgers from first base.
Devin Mesoraco of the Reds replaced Lucroy in the bottom of the inning. He went 0-for-1, striking out against Boston’s Koji Uehara in the sixth with a runner on third base. Mesoraco nearly made the defensive play of the game when he rebounded a wild pitch off the wall behind home plate in the fifth inning with one hand. Alexei Ramirez just beat Mesoraco’s throw to Aramis Ramirez to safely get back to third base.
Todd Frazier, fresh off his appearance in the final of Monday’s Home Run Derby, entered the game in the bottom of the sixth to replace Aramis Ramirez at third base. The ball found him right away as he took a groundball hit by Cespedes (who beat Frazier to win his second straight Home Run Derby title).
Frazier walked on four pitches against Seattle’s Fernando Rodney in the eighth inning in his only plate appearance.
Johnny Cueto was unavailable to pitch for the NL. He started on Sunday against Pittsburgh, getting his 10th win of the season by going six innings, allowing five hits and three runs in a 6-3 win.