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Monday, 14 July 2014 13:17

Home Run Derby tonight!

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The baseball All-Star Game is tomorrow night at Target Field in Minneapolis. This evening, many of the game's top sluggers will take part in the annual Home Run Derby. This year's slugfest is led by Toronto's Jose Bautista and Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies. They are serving as captains of the respective American and National league teams. Joining the Tulowitzki team are Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers, Todd Frazier of the Reds and Justin Morneau of the Rockies. They will compete against Bautista, Josh Donaldson of the Athletics, Brian Dozier of the host Twins, Baltimore's Adam Jones and Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes, the defending champ. He is looking to become the first back-to-back champ since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998-99. By the way the first Home Run Derby was held at the old Metrodome in Minneapolis during the All-Star break 29 years ago. The winner was Dave Parker. Ceremonial first pitches will take place before the contest with St. Paul natives Jack Morris, Paul Molitor and Dave Winfield, handling the duties along with current Twins first baseman Joe Mauer.

The All-Star symbolizes the mid-way mark of the baseball season. In fact the teams are well beyond the half-way mark of the season as each team has played more than 81 games, the actual mid-way point of the 162 game season. That said, the top team at the break is Oakland as the Athletics sport a record of 59-36. They lead the American League West by 1  1/2 games over the Angels. The top team in the National League is Los Angeles as the Dodgers are 54-43, a game in front of the Giants in the National League West. The other divisional leaders in the NL are Washington in the East and Milwaukee in the Central. In the AL the Orioles top the East and the Tigers the Central.