Mets’ slugger Pete Alonso repeats as Home Run Derby champ

Sports

National League’s Pete Alonso, of the New York Mets, cheers during the first round of the MLB All Star baseball Home Run Derby, Monday, July 12, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER — Mets slugger Pete Alonso repeated as Home Run Derby champion Monday, beating field that included two-way star Shohei Ohtani.

Alonso beat Trey Mancini of the Baltimore Orioles in the final round — a player with a comeback story fit for Hollywood. Mancini, 29, missed the 2020 season while being treated for stage three colon cancer.

In the semifinal, Alonso cruised to 16 homers, eclipsing Juan Soto’s total of 15. The Washington Nationals standout appeared exhausted after pulling off the stunner of the event by knocking off top-seeded Shohei Ohtani in a second tiebreaker. Soto had the farthest homer of the event in the first round, a 520-foot shot. His longest in the semifinals was 481.

Wielding his blue-and-orange bat, Alonso hit 14 homers and with 63 seconds left called timeout. He played to the crowd, asking them to cheer. They did. Alonso won the event in 2019.

Alonso began his Home Run Derby title defense in grand style by swatting a first-round record 35 homers to knock off Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals.

The fourth-seeded Perez finished with 28 homers, which would’ve won the previous two matchups.

Alonso’s burst was the most in the first round, topping the 28 by Josh Hamilton at original Yankee Stadium in 2008.

The New York Mets first baseman stood out at the plate for more than just his swing. Alonso, the fifth seed, wore socks with stars on them and swung a blue-and-orange bat. He also danced to music from New York rappers before his bonus minute and fist-pumped when he was done.

His farthest homer was 514 feet.

Alonso joins Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. (1998-99) and Yoenis Céspedes (2013-14) as the only back-to-back champions.

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