Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez hit home runs as the American League claimed home field advantage in the World Series with a 4-2 win over the National League.
The Kansas City pair combined to drive in all the runs for the winning team by hitting homers in a three-run second inning at Petco Park in San Diego in the annual all-star game.
Hosmer, who became the first Royals player to be named MVP of Major League Baseball’s mid-summer classic since Bo Jackson in 1989, also had an RBI single in the third.
And he insisted the focus for the AL players in Tuesday night’s close contest was on securing home field advantage for the championship series.
“That was the message from everyone in the clubhouse,” Hosmer said. “It is such a huge advantage to have home field advantage. I don’t know who it is going to be but we wanted to bring it back to the American League.”
The game, in front of a crowd of 42,386, featured a moment of controversy during the performance of the Canadian national anthem.
One member of the Canadian group The Tenors caused a kerfuffle by inserting “All Lives Matter” into the lyrics of the song and holding up a sign with the slogan.
The group later apologized on its Twitter account.
The NL was leading 1-0 thanks to a Kris Bryant homer in the first inning when Hosmer tied it with a one-out homer off NL starter Johnny Cueto.
“I put a good swing on one,” he said of the 389-foot drive into the left field stands. “I was just smiling all the way around the bases. It is fun when you can play this game and feel like a kid again.”
Two batters later, Perez connected for a two-run, 373-foot shot into the left field stands off Cueto before Hosmer finished two-for-three with two RBIs.
Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber was the winning pitcher and Baltimore left-hander Zach Britton collected the save. Cueto suffered the loss.
The NL stranded 10 runners and left the bases loaded in the eighth when Houston right-hander Will Harris threw a called third strike pitch past pinch-hitter Aldemys Diaz.
Boston designated hitter David Ortiz, who has said he will retire, drew a one-out walk and received an ovation from the crowd and hugs from the AL team bench when he came out for pinch-runner Edwin Encarnacion of the Toronto Blue Jays.
“Something that I will never forget,” Ortiz said of the cheers.
The 10-time all-star announced his intention to retire after his 20th season.