Cano wins home run derby

New York Yankees' Robinson Cano hits during the MLB baseball All-Star Game Home Run Derby....

New York Yankees' Robinson Cano hits during the MLB baseball All-Star Game Home Run Derby. (REUTERS/Jeff Hayne)

Bob Elliott, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:20 AM ET

PHOENIX -- The bad news for Blue Jays fans is that Jose Bautista had only 14 swings in the State Farm Home Run Derby on Monday night.

Four homers ... 10 outs.

The good news for Jays fans is that Bautista wasn't around long enough for his appearance to affect his swing long term as he tries to defend his American League home run crown.

Derby winner Bobby Abreu saw his home run stroke disappear in the second half of 2005 while Josh Hamilton struggled to a lesser degree in the second half of 2009, after putting on a show at old Yankee Stadium.

This year, Bautista was eliminated in the first round, averaging 401 feet on his four homers. His longest travelled 412 feet to left, landing in the second deck of Chase Field.

The winner in the final -- another Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees matchup -- was Robinson Cano, who hit 12 homers to edge Adrian Gonzalez by one in the final before 44,820 fans.

Cano hit a record 32 homers in the three rounds. The AL beat the NL 76-19, although there were not any NL sluggers in the final.

The 95 home runs raised $603,000 from State Farm for charities.

National League and American League captains Prince Fielder and David Ortiz, both former derby winners, failed to make the final. Apparently captaining a team and hitting home runs was too much to put on the plates of Fielder and Ortiz at the same time.

Right-hander Jose Cano, 49, who pitched in six games for the 1989 Houston Astros, threw batting practice to his son. Robinson put on the most impressive display during the derby, as the Yankees second baseman hit 12 homers in the second round and 12 more in the final.

Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta threw to Gonzalez.

"I've always like the home run derby better than the game itself," Bautista said Monday afternoon.

And later Monday night.

"I'm not used to hitting without a cage, I'm not here to make excuses," Bautista said. "But I let my emotions get the better of me. I was more nervous here than at Yankee Stadium. There I can hit the ball hard. Here there was an objective."

Bautista hit two homers early, after taking a series of pitches from bullpen catcher Alex Andreopoulos, who routinely throws to the home run king.

"I told him before we started I was going to take seven or eight pitches to relax," he said.

Then he hit two more on the gold balls, after a visit from Ortiz ("just relax,") which meant $18,000 to charity per home run.

"I might neck ball him," Andreopoulos said jokingly about knocking down Bautista Monday afternoon.

Andreopoulos, like Cincinnati Reds all-star Joey Votto, is from Etobicoke. He attended Seton Hall, reached triple-A Buffalo in 2001, and spent 2002, the final season of eight in the minors, at triple-A Memphis and triple-A Ottawa.

"I don't think that it ruined my swing," Bautista said. "I'll do this again, I'll ask Alex to throw to me."

Overlooked a year ago, Bautista had been in home run derbies in 2002 at class-A Hickory and 2005 at double-A Altoona.

"Finished second both times, losing to Ryan Howard and Mike Jacobs," Bautista said.

This time he was sixth.

Diamondbacks fans booed Fielder for not picking their own slugger Justin Upton and then booed his teammate Rickie Weeks as well.

"There are some levels of 'nervous-ocity,'" said Ortiz earlier in the day, uncertain of who would lead off for the AL team.


Videos

Photos