MINNEAPOLIS — He got shut out at the Home Run Derby. He went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts at the All-Star game. He made a game but imperfect leaping attempt to catch Mike Trout’s triple in the first inning. Overall, Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Yasiel Puig had a rough couple of nights among the stars.
Despite a lack of positive personal results at his first All-Star game, Puig said Tuesday night he wasn’t unhappy about how it all went at Target Field.
[Photos: Yasiel Puig’s rough All-Star debut]
“I leave here happy for several reasons, including that I got to play amongst friends," Puig said with the help of translator Yvonne Carrasco. “I leave happy that I did the best I can. I didn’t hit any home runs yesterday, I struck out three times today. But you know — that happens. I’m proud to have been present for Derek Jeter’s last All-Star game before he retires. It was very emotional to see him off. He has been one of my favorite players.
"Now I’m focusing on doing the best I can for the second half, and if I get the opportunity next year, I’ll do better.”
The American League won 5-3 partially on the strength of a three-run first inning against Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals. Jeter led off with a double, Mike Trout followed with a triple over Puig’s head in right and Miguel Cabrera added a two-run home run.
Puig had trouble with Trout’s triple, getting turned the wrong way before making a strong but imperfect leaping effort at the right-field fence.
At the plate, Puig struck out in the first inning against Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners, in the third against Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers, and in the fifth against Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers. In all, the AL pitchers posted 13 strikeouts, so it wasn’t just Puig who was swinging and missing.
Puig raised his eyebrows, shook his head and rolled his eyes at the suggestion his All-Star results resembled those of Puig’s NLCS against the Cardinals in 2013, when he went 5 for 22 with 10 strikeouts.
“Nah, they were throwing great pitches,” Puig said. “These are the best pitchers in the American League so, what are you gonna do?”
Go get 'em next time.
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