Alonso will defend HR Derby title; Guerrero will sit out

Jun 22, 2021, 10:42 PM | Updated: Jun 23, 2021, 2:12 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets’ Pete Alonso will defend his Home Run Derby title at Coors Field on July 12, but there will be no rematch with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays, who has decided not to take part.

Alonso made his announcement Wednesday on his Instagram page. He joins Japanese two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels in the derby, held on the night before the All-Star Game.

Alonso won the derby at Cleveland’s Progressive Field in 2019, the last time it was held, by defeating Guerrero 23-22 in the final round.

Guerrero, who shared the MLB home run lead with Ohtani heading into Wednesday’s play, spoke before the Blue Jays’ game in Miami. Guerrero also leads All-Star voting and plans to play in the game, but said he wants to get some rest during the break.

“I feel good physically,” Guerrero said through a translator. “Everything is going well. There is a long way to go still. I just want to keep it that way.”

Guerrero has 23 homers and also leads MLB in slugging and OPS. Alonso has 11 homers and set a rookie record with 53 in 2019.

The derby and All-Star Game were canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, which delayed the start of the Major League Baseball season until late July.

Only two players have won consecutive home run derbies: Seattle’s Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998 at Coors Field and 1999 at Boston’s Fenway Park, and Oakland’s Yoenis Céspedes in 2013 at New York’s Citi Field and 2014 at Minneapolis’ Target Field.

Guerrero said he decided to skip this year’s event after consulting with his father, Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero.

Guerrero Jr. said he’ll be at the derby as a spectator.

“I’m planning to take my camera with the mike on to record everything, and enjoy the moment and support the rest of the guys,” he said.

___

More AP MLB coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

England's head coach Gareth Southgate, left, and Harry Kane speak to the media during a press confe...
Associated Press

England coach lets captain Kane do final World Cup pep talk

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — England coach Gareth Southgate has nothing to tell his players just before they leave the locker room to play defending champion France in the World Cup quarterfinals on Saturday. That is his choice, preferring players to take control and citing his own playing experience of managers who could “mess it up” […]
1 day ago
Luka Modric celebrates after Croatia defeated Brazil in a penalty shootout during a World Cup quart...
Associated Press

Modric’s moves help Croatia eliminate Brazil from World Cup

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — The slippery hips of Luka Modric wriggled away from danger. The laser-like precision of his passing — and the intelligence to control the tempo for long periods — were ever present, as is usual. There was the customary adjustment of his hairband here, a tug of his captain’s armband there. […]
1 day ago
FILE - A sign on the University of Vermont campus in Burlington, Vt., is pictured on March 11, 2020...
Associated Press

Students sue Vermont school over response to sex assaults

Three women are suing the University of Vermont, saying the school failed to adequately respond after they reported they had been sexually assaulted while students on the Burlington campus. The civil suit, which is seeking unspecified damages, says that after the three women were sexually assaulted a number of administrators and school staff showed “deliberate […]
1 day ago
People celebrate Morocco's win over Spain in a World Cup match played in Qatar, in Rabat, Morocco, ...
Associated Press

‘Our pride’: Morocco keeps Africa’s hope alive in World Cup

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — For many in Africa, Morocco’s underdog performance is the best story in the World Cup so far, with the hopes of the continent soaring ahead of the match on Saturday against Portugal. Across the continent of more than 1.3 billion people, African fans are excited that Morocco has become the fourth […]
1 day ago
Brazil's Neymar, right, and Croatia's Marcelo Brozovic, left, fight for the ball during the World C...
Associated Press

Neymar ties Pelé’s all-time record with Brazil at World Cup

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Neymar moved into a tie with Pelé as Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals on Friday. The Brazil forward scored in the first half of extra time of his team’s World Cup quarterfinal match against Croatia. Neymar scored with a right-footed shot after getting through the defense and dribbling […]
1 day ago
International Olympic Committee, IOC, President Thomas Bach attends the opening of the Executive Bo...
Associated Press

Russia may join sports events in Asia ahead of 2024 Olympics

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Russia could return to some international sports events and Olympic qualifiers by competing as part of Asia rather than Europe. International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach welcomed a “creative” plan Friday to allow athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus to join competitions in Asia after more than nine months of […]
1 day ago
Alonso will defend HR Derby title; Guerrero will sit out